In the words of Public Citizen’s Smitty Smith, “How do you accomplish great social change?
Figure out a way to make your enemy a hero when they go back home to their people.”
Coming up with a win-win situation is essential to making change happen. The best scenario in politics is when justice is served, and everyone comes out looking good.
Here’s an example. When Debbie Russell was concerned about police violence in her town, here’s one thing she found useful: looking across Texas for police departments that are doing a good job of reducing racial profiling or minimizing violence.
Then she set about finding out as much information as she could about the policies and practices that were being used, and whether they could work in Austin. Showing decision makers that someone else is already taking the lead on an issue, and their solution is working, has a way of motivating them to follow suit.
“That’s where people respond,” Debbie says. “I don’t want to just sit here and complain and just bring up the problems. I want to be able to offer solutions. I think that’s where people get motivated to actually get involved.”
Think deeply about your issue.
Is there a win-win solution to be had?