What is a community watchdog?
A community watchdog:
- Pays attention to what’s going on in the community;
- Gets involved in the political process;
- Has the skills and know-how to organize others and get decision makers’ attention.
The four key aspects of being a community watchdog and launching an effective campaign.
- gathering information
- organizing allies
- lobbying policymakers
- communicating to the press
Whether it’s stopping a law that would allow a corporation to build condos in your favorite park, taking a stand against police brutality, or fighting for cleaner air or fair wages in your community, you can make a difference.
Sign up to become a community watchdog today!
What does a community watchdog do?
- Spread the word.
Share ACLU of Texas events and take action online through your Twitter, Facebook, blog and Pinterest accounts. Follow us and start sharing!
- Attend and recruit.
Come out to ACLU of Texas events and grassroots lobbying actions. Table at local community events and festivals and help us recruit new supporters!
- Speak out.
Sign up to write letters to the editor, participate in write-in and call-in efforts, and visits with your representatives.
- Host an event.
Plan public education events and grassroots lobbying in your community.
Take a leadership role in recruiting local activists, facilitating local meetings, planning events, and coordinating grassroots activism in your community.
Why become a community watchdog?
The ACLU of Texas is committed to protecting civil liberties for all people. Our main strategies include working through the legislative process, through the court system, and through public education and advocacy to protect the civil liberties of all Texans.
We cannot do it alone, however. We need people like you to look out for rights abuses and stand up for your community. We need people who are willing to advocate on their own. Decision makers are much more likely to respond to their constituents’ concerns.
Once you get started, you may find there are many others in your community that share your values. You may find unexpected allies to work with to prevent bad policies or to make positive change. Making change starts with you. Democracy demands participation from all of us.
Here are some video examples of people who are shaking things up for the better in their communities.
- Tom “Smitty” Smith – Public Citizen
- Debbie Russell – Blogger on Police Accountability
- Lisa Fithian – Organizing for Power
- Cristina Tzintzun – Workers’ Defense Project
- Yannis Banks – NAACP Organizer