Here are some thoughts for you to consider re the beginnings…
– group members all are volunteers
– groups need to work at being patient, fluid and flexible
– willingly let those who have a strong interest in pursuing one element that may not fit into the overall group strategy go ahead and pursue that interest. Stay connected so you can all come together when you all need to show support.
– a handful will do most of the work and will likely be those who come forward without being pushed. Best steering committees are a team rather than a few in charge.
– start a bulk email list for anyone who wants to be kept in the loop, for ability to communicate latest developments, give notice for support (local meetings) and education. Use it wisely. Stay professional, use only when information is important or people will ask to be removed from the list. They don’t want to be inundated with emails, just informed. Some days a sample group member sends a couple of things, or most weeks, 3 – 5 articles, meeting/rally notices, updates and it seems to be fine. (Please be considerate of dial up people as well, large files are very time-consuming for them to download.)
– if you have someone with the time and expertise to do so, you can do a website
– meet with your politicians, keep them informed of latest information so they can make decisions from knowledge
– information notices in neighbor’s mail, bulk mail or mailbox stuffing
– public information meeting with speakers on the topic is another good start to educating a community. Keep speaking short and two or three speakers max, with time for comments and questions after meeting. Moderator should be very brief, not repeating what is well said by speakers. We are happy to help with a meeting.
– radio spots, cable TV shows, letters to the editor are invaluable as public education tool; again keep them short, well researched and professional.
– it’s important to stay reasonably neutral for education info or notice of an info meeting. You want to engage people in the general public who aren’t sure what to think so they do become educated and if your group appears professional and reasonable, people will stay open to what you have to say. See meeting notice we use, again, please modify and use as you wish.
– at a recent public information meeting, it was emphasized that some people who’ve signed up for turbines are discovering they were misinformed; were told there are NO health effects, etc. They should not be blamed or ridiculed anymore than the victims who have come forward to tell us what is happening to them from living near turbines because some of these lease signers were victimized too. Some feel sick every day, hoping the option they signed runs out before turbines move in. Some might want to investigate the possibility of a contract being null and void because of misleading information presented.
– stay positive, and look for inspiration to other successful wins in the arena!!!