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Grassroots Lobbying

Local Union Participation

Remember this about fire fighters: fire fighters will participate in a political action committee if they are asked. Every member must be invited to participate: the goal is 100% participation. However, don't become discouraged if everyone doesn't. After all, your real purpose is to develop a strong cadre of activists who will work and want to work, not a long list of names. The goal is quality not quantity.

Fire fighters must know why it is important to sign up and how it will help them protect their jobs and paycheques.

Recruiting fire fighters can be accomplished in several ways such as at local union meetings, on the job, telephone, newsletters, etc. Recruitment is a big job. When speaking with a fire fighter about contributing his/her time in the local union program, you should explain the various activities in which the local will participate. You should allow the member to choose the particular area he/she wishes to participate in. Be sure to invite the member's family to participate as well.

How Do You Get Activists?

  1. Ask them.
  2. Use a Personal Appeal. Face-to-face communication is always best.
  3. By Enthusiasm for the Job. Make it clear that you consider it important and worth doing. Your attitude will affect those you talk with.

How Do You Keep Activists?

  1. BE FRIENDLY.
  2. PLAN AHEAD. Try to strike the right balance between underwork and overwork.
  3. MAKE REASONABLE ASSIGNMENTS. Ask people to do things they can do well.
  4. GIVE ADEQUATE TRAINING. Define the job clearly.
  5. SET HIGH STANDARDS. People take pride in quality performance.
  6. GIVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INCREASED RESPONSIBILITY.
  7. WELCOME SUGGESTIONS.
  8. GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE. Recognize good work and reward it in personal conversation, at meetings, by letter.

Some Helpful Tips And Suggestions
Don't do all the work yourself. See that everyone has something to do. Keep in touch with your activists. Don't wait until the last minute and then find something has been left undone or done wrong. Consult with your activists. Support the activists. Replace members who don't do their job. Prepare in advance.


International Association of Fire Fighters
1750 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006 • 202.737.8484 • 202.737.8418 (Fax)
403-350 Sparks St. Ottawa ON K1R 7S8 • 613.567.8988  613.567.8986 (Fax)
Copyright 2018 International Association of Fire Fighters.  Last Modified:  6/20/2018