How do you know if you are making progress, that you have the correct strategy in place and if you have chosen the right people, do you rally want to wait until the final vote to measure your progress?
The age of “The Fixer” is nearly over, that one person who “knows someone”. Regardless of the size of the community, whether it be rural township or a large city, securing the needed votes takes constituent pressure and “political cover” for those officials who support your idea but are afraid of paying a political price. There are very few elected officials anymore who will do the “right thing” and put their position on the line and vote against their constituents regardless if they think your application is a good idea or not.
In order to accomplish all of this and provide that cover, you need to be a few steps ahead of the opposition. You need to run a grassroots campaign designed to provide a message, educate the voters and identify your supporters. You should be transparent, meeting with the residents and be out in front of a potential problem as opposed to hoping that no one will notice. You cannot avoid residents but you can recruit them or have them move to the middle of the road. We at RLS, meet with residents, face their questions and get them their answers. We initiate that grassroots campaign, meeting with as many people as we can, one to one and answer every question they ask.
Another component is mobilizing your supporters, ensuring that they take some action to demonstrate they support your project. Their support could be as simple as a petition signature or a letter to the commissioner. It could be a message on social media or an email to the board or ultimately speaking on your behalf at a public hearing. This is the Get Out the Vote factor that we love at RLS, it measures and demonstrates the effectiveness of the campaign that is being organized and measures the quality of our work. As we go through our campaign there are systems in place to measure the progress of the campaign leading up to the public hearing. How many supporters do we have, how many are going to speak at the hearing, how many emails have been sent through our patch through email program and how many likes do we have on Facebook? All of these are measurable milestones that you can use to assess progress.