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Pointers for Getting a “TPP Free Zone” LawPassed by Your City or Town Council
Alliance for Democracy • (781) 894-1179 • www.thealliancefordemocracy.org
Keep in mind that every community is different. You may find a member of your town or city council who will gladly introduce a “TPP Free Zone” bill and convince a majority to vote it into law. More likely, you will need to do substantial organizing. Whether you feel confident of official support, or you know you have a tough fight ahead, remember that campaigning for a “TPP Free Zone” law is an important opportunity to reach out and educate your officials and the larger community. So whether you win or lose the actual vote, your campaign will pay off. Here are some pointers.
1. Put packets of educational materials together explaining the issues and why this law is necessary.
2. Seek out a sympathetic member of the city council who would be willing to work with you in developing an appropriate law and could help you develop a broader strategy for reaching other council members.
3. Look into your local laws which could be impacted by TPP rules on investment, competition and government procurement. Areas to look into include local economic development, environment, labor, land use, and subsidies that support local business and/or special groups such as handicapped or minorities.
4. Work in coalition to show a broad base of support. Reach out to churches, unions, local businesses and civic, environmental, human rights and women’s organizations. Be sure to be in touch with local businesses so they hear first from you, not from TPP supporters like the US Chamber of Commerce, about the ways these trade agreements could impact them. You will need them as allies when you go to your city or town council.
5. Draft a law for your town or city council taking into account local concerns you have identified. You can use our model TPP free zone law as a guide.
6. Launch a public education campaign. Letters to the Editor, Op-Ed pieces and local news stories about the coalition which you’ve formed and how the TPP will harm your community can all be part of the campaign.
7. Keep the local press informed every step of the way by sending out media advisories and keeping in personal communication with any reporters who have shown special interest in the issue. You may also want to set up a meeting with the editor or editorial board of your local paper, community television, or other media outlets.
8. After you have done community outreach and education, focus on getting the bill introduced, following local procedures for introducing the legislation for consideration and vote.
9. Make individual appointments with your mayor and with your city or town council members to give them educational packets, outline the issue for them and answer any questions. Before the bill is scheduled for a vote, call each of them back to be sure they understand the issue and have all their questions answered.
10. When the bill is on the agenda, select a spokesperson to make the presentation to your council. If possible, have local experts available who are well respected in the community. Be well-prepared to refute remarks from the opposition. Be clear and factual, rather than relying on an emotional appeal. This can be an important community outreach as well, since in many communities council meetings are televised.
11. When the law passes, hold a press conference with key members of your coalition and ask your council supporters to speak.
12. Write letters of thanks to all those who helped you along the way.
13. Be sure to let us know as soon the law is passed! Send us a copy at [email protected] so we can post it online at www.thealliancefordemocracy.org and others can use it in their campaigns.