As the 115th Congress returns, we’re at a time in our political history that will be remembered. How it will be remembered is still to be decided, however. Will it be remembered as a time when activism was reinvigorated, and engagement from citizens saw a rebirth? Or will it be remembered as an opportunity lost?
America is about to inaugurate a President, the likes of which we’ve never seen. No matter what people think of Donald Trump, no one can say that he hasn’t galvanized those who support him and those who oppose him. Congress, meanwhile, is wrestling with the idea of a Republican populist. Donald Trump has hinted at a fondness for the kind of infrastructure spending that usually is anathema to Congressional Republicans, while Democrats wonder if they can oppose the new President on issues like trade, or if they will have to work with him.
Because usual dynamics and norms are out the window, and votes are not all pre-ordained, party-line affairs, pressure from the people – from constituents – is going to count that much more.
Senators and Congressmembers are going to look back to their districts, to gauge which direction they should go, on a great number of issues. And its the organizations that make it easy for their supporters to frequently weigh in, in a meaningful way, which will have a leg up in this new environment.
Calls to the Hill are still a tried and true way of registering opinion, but operator-assisted patch through calls can be expensive – ranging anywhere from $1.50 to $3.50 per call. For the largest groups, with the biggest budgets, this might not be too much to spend.
But for many others, new video messaging technology, like the tool set up through Countable Campaigns, gives organizations an easier way to get their supporters involved, with a better return on the investment. Video messages don’t just get sent to lawmakers, but can be used to create a powerful mosaic of voices, telling a powerful story of why a group is pushing for what it is pushing for. Supporters can also post their videos to their own social media, which recruits new supporters and builds and organizations brand.
The point is that as the new Congress feels its way around the new dynamic, groups are going to have to act fast, and be as impactful as possible, to take full advantage of the changing situation. Those who do will be greatly rewarded. Those who don’t might not get an opportunity like this again for a very long time.
Looking to kickstart your organization’s advocacy efforts during the Trump residency? Let’s chat.