How to ask a friend to join our efforts

by | September 12th, 2017

Grassroots advocacy is more effective with more people!  We don’t need you to try to go Lone Ranger in these situations, because legislators are not going to listen to only you or me.  

Asking people to help can be a little uncomfortable at first.

You may feel nervous about the reactions you’ll get when you bring up taking action to make things better.  All of us know at least a few people who like to complain, but who will never step up to fix the problem.  

The good news is, there are fewer of those folks than it may seem! MOST Oklahomans want to make things better, but they often don’t know how.  

YOU have the power to offer your friends and neighbors some effective strategies that can change their lives and make our whole state better.  Don’t waste that opportunity. After all, having a failing state that is dangerous, uneducated, and unhealthy is WAY worse than inviting your friend, right?

Some great ways to grow the team:

  1. Figure out who you should ask.  

    • Who do you know who has already brought up one of these issues: the state budget, our failing schools, underfunded senior nutrition, Medicaid, and foster care programs, the awful condition of the Oklahoma roads, the closure of state parks and museums, the overcrowded and understaffed prisons, the increasing fines and fees from state agencies, the companies who won’t move to Oklahoma, and so on.  I bet you can think of several right of the bat! Make a list of them.
    • Who of the people who have brought up those issues do you like and get along with? Look at your list and think about who you will enjoy, or at least not mind, spending a little time with you. 
    • Don’t underestimate yourself or other people.  You don’t have to be an expert to bring someone to the team.  They don’t have to be totally sold on the idea of advocating to give it a try.  Remember, most of us want to help but we just don’t know how.  If you don’t believe me, think about all that support we see every time there is a natural disaster.  We know how to deal with the aftermath of tornadoes because we learned how to do it.  It is time to learn how to help ourselves and help our state get back on track with responsible policies!
  2. Offer one small opportunity to do something right away! 

    • We all have to start somewhere. Help your friend build their confidence so that they can feel that they are doing something right away. Here are some small opportunities to try:
      1. Them them out for coffee and to ask questions about how budget cuts are effecting them and their family.  Show them specific information from OK Policy or other good sources that relate to those issues.
      2. Invite them to join you in making calls to legislators.  Between the two of you, there are likely only 4 calls to make on most issues.  It is a lot more fun when you can cheer each other on!
      3. Ask them to be your moral support as you talk to a legislator either on the phone or in person. This one is especially good if you have someone who is just too distressed to take action on their own yet.
      4. Invite them to a TOK event.  We always try to make our meetings and events matter, so bring them to check it out in person. (Find our events here or on togetherok.org)
      5. Ask them to come to the Capitol with you or to help you make calls to constituents who need to be calling their legislators!  We are signing up for shifts right now.  They can come with you and check out the scene even if they aren’t ready to do any talking to legislators.
  3. See how that goes and do it again!

    • If they liked A, try E or any of the others.
    • If they didn’t like D, see if they’d like B instead.
    • If they aren’t interested in doing more, move on and ask somebody else.  They may come around eventually or they may not.  It is okay either way!
  4. Talk to your fellow TOK members in Slack about your recruitment efforts and collaborate to do what works!

Remember, two people plus a plan equals power.  Two by two we are powerfully changing our state for the better!