Gregory Hood recently asked the hypothetical question, “What Would You Do With $55,000?” Despite what Jim Giles would have you believe about people being in it for the “money movement”, money is notoriously difficult to come by for even the most vital advocacy work. Many anti-Semites claim that Jews are stingy, but when it comes to forking over real money for ethnic advocacy, things are a bit upside-down.
Now, I understand that there are many good reasons why we have trouble raising money, and I’m not begging for a handout. But what I am saying is that $55,000 is an unlikely windfall. I would be lucky to raise 1% of that amount. In fact, I didn’t raise that amount. To bring us up to $550, I had to spend quite a bit of my own money. My wife might read this blog, so I won’t say how much.
Here’s what I’m trying to do with $550…
The cardinal objective is to establish visibility and credibility with our target audience of working- and middle-class conservative Hoosiers as their foremost advocates. To accomplish this, we will need to set and then achieve immediate and tangible goals for them. We will do this by compelling local employers to implement the e-Verify program in their hiring processes using a database to target employers who fail to use the program and free classifieds to target employers who are actively hiring. If they don’t comply, we protest.
This basic process will be enhanced with a mature constituent relationship management framework to achieve several secondary objectives, including directing Hoosiers to lobby their state legislature to pass an Arizona-inspired illegal immigration enforcement law. Membership dues and donations will be solicited. Mailing lists will be populated. Self-published books will be sold.
1. Contact local employers who do not use e-Verify, initially attempting to persuade them to use it with listing of advantages. Maintain list of ones who react negatively or refuse to communicate.
2. Threaten protest, give target “one last chance to reconsider”.
3. Secure protest time and place with sheriff’s dept.
4. Mail out protest invitations to chapter and petition mailing list.
5. Advertise on HoosierNation.us blog, e-newsletter, Facebook group, Craigslist, Stormfront, local classifieds.
6. Stage protest.
7. Upload protest video to YouTube. Blog it.
8. Do post-processing.
We have a binder filled with forms and fliers for our events. It contains CofCC membership forms, anti-illegal immigration petitions, voter registration forms, and a brag-book presentation on the mission and methods of our advocacy group. We also sell copies of my book, Hoosier Nation, and pass out copies of the CofCC’s Citizen’s Informer newsletter. This action pack is critical for capitalizing on the presence of attendees.
Since the mainstream media either ignores us or attacks us, it’s necessary for us to create our own media, to cover and publicize our own events. Thanks to plummeting prices for consumer electronics, quite a bit can be accomplished with relatively little up-front investment. The entire setup, plus a lovely assistant, all fit in my 1997 Buick LeSabre ($800, sold separately).
It consists of the following:
1. Kodak Pocket Video Camera (Model Zi8) – $179.99
This is the cheapest camera I could find that had acceptable YouTube-level quality, a tripod mount, and an external microphone jack.
2. Camera Travel Tripod (TG-42TT) – $21.00
This is a bit shorter than a regular tripod, checking in at a mere 42″. It’s very cheap and folds up very small.
3. Ion Tailgater Portable Sound System (Model 36GG) – $149.99
The battery life offers well over an hour of speaking truth to power. The volume was proficient for a gathering of over 30 people in a high-traffic urban setting. It’s light enough for me to carry one-handed with its convenient handle.
4. Microphone w/ Stand – $29.99
For speaking into.
5. Music Stand – $14.99
This is a poor man’s portable podium. It’s collapsible.
6. Mini Stereo Plug to RCA Cable – $2.99
This goes from the sound box’s RCA output to the camera’s microphone input. That way the YouTube video of the speech gets the audio directly from the microphone.
If things are set up ideally, the assistant can sit at a chair between the camera tripod and the table, both keeping an eye on the camera and assisting attendees with membership forms, voter registrations, petitions, and other paperwork.
8. Fedora – $66.18
This is the secret ingredient.
The YouTube video needs to be uploaded and blogged about. Voter registration forms need to be mailed out. Membership forms need to be sent in. The petitions must be plugged into the database and geolocated to the appropriate state-level representatives for appropriate routing.
I would enjoy feedback on how this project could be improved upon, and will keep you posted on its progress. There are obviously quite a few more costs here, like the cost of hosting a website, the cost of the office supplies involved, the cost of driving to the site, and numerous other incidentals. But I do believe it illustrates how a truly lean advocacy strategy can be woven together with cheap equipment, readily available Internet resources, and several hours of time spent implementing constituent relationship management strategies similar to what that the professionals use.