In order to successfully create change, you need the right target, strategy, and combination of social and political pressures.
The biggest mistake Smitty Smith of Public Citizen sees is people trying to go after too much at once. “Picking a battle (instead of a war) and really going after it like a rifle shot is oftentimes the most important series of choices you make,” he says.
Smitty says change often does not happen until it is the only viable choice for those involved.
You may want systemic change, but you will need to sell it one commonsense solution at a time.
You don’t want to overwhelm people.
What would be an effective first step towards racial or social equality, improving education, stopping violence in your community, protecting the environment?
What’s most important to moving the ball forward? What can you win?
“That’s the stuff you need to ask advice on,” according to Smitty. “It’s not always easy, but it’s not rocket science either.” After 30-plus years of being an activist, he still consults people involved in various aspects of the movement before formulating his campaign. Then the real fun begins.