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  • One of the things that

  • defines a TEDster

  • is you've taken your passion,

  • and you've turned it into stewardship.

  • You actually put action to the issues you care about.

  • But what you're going to find eventually is

  • you may need to actually get elected officials

  • to help you out.

  • So, how do you do that?

  • One of the things I should probably tell you is,

  • I worked for the Discovery Channel early in my career,

  • and that sort of warped my framework.

  • So, when you start to think about politicians,

  • you've got to realize these are strange creatures.

  • Other than the fact that they can't tell directions,

  • and they have very strange breeding habits,

  • how do you actually work with these things? (Laughter)

  • What we need to understand is:

  • What drives the political creature?

  • And there are two things that are primary in a politician's heart:

  • One is reputation and influence.

  • These are the primary tools by which

  • a politician can do his job.

  • The second one -- unlike most animals,

  • which is survival of the species --

  • this is preservation of self.

  • Now you may think it's money,

  • but that's actually sort of a proxy

  • to what I can do to preserve myself.

  • Now, the challenge with you moving your issue forward

  • is these animals are getting broadcast to all the time.

  • So, what doesn't work, in terms of getting your issue to be important?

  • You can send them an email.

  • Well, unfortunately, I've got so many

  • Viagra ads coming at me,

  • your email is lost.

  • It doesn't matter, it's spam.

  • How about you get on the phone?

  • Well, chances are I've got a droid who's picking up the phone,

  • "Yes, they called, and they said they didn't like it."

  • That doesn't move.

  • Face to face would work,

  • but it's hard to set it up.

  • It's hard to get the context and actually get the communication to work.

  • Yes, contributions actually do make a difference

  • and they set a context for having a conversation,

  • but it takes some time to build up.

  • So what actually works?

  • And the answer is rather strange.

  • It's a letter.

  • We live in a digital world,

  • but we're fairly analog creatures.

  • Letters actually work.

  • Even the top dog himself

  • takes time every day to read 10 letters

  • that are picked out by staff.

  • I can tell you that every official that I've ever worked with

  • will tell you about the letters they get

  • and what they mean.

  • So, how are you going to write your letter?

  • First of all, you're going to pick up an analog device: a pen.

  • I know these are tough, and you may have a hard time

  • getting your hand bent around it, (Laughter)

  • but this is actually critical.

  • And it is critical that

  • you actually handwrite your letter.

  • It is so novel to see this,

  • that somebody actually picked up an analog device

  • and has written to me.

  • Second of all, I'm going to recommend that

  • you get into a proactive stance

  • and write to your elected officials at least once a month.

  • Here's my promise to you:

  • If you are consistent and do this,

  • within three months the elected official will start calling you

  • when that issue comes up and say, "What do you think?"

  • Now, I'm going to give you

  • a four paragraph format to work with.

  • Now, when you approach these animals,

  • you need to understand there's a dangerous end to them,

  • and you also need to approach them

  • with some level of respect and a little bit of wariness.

  • So in paragraph number one,

  • what I'm going to tell you to do is very simply this:

  • You appreciate them.

  • You may not appreciate the person, you may not appreciate anything else,

  • but maybe you appreciate the fact that they've got a tough gig.

  • When animals are going to make a point, they make the point.

  • They don't spend a lot of time dicking around.

  • So, here you go. (Laughter)

  • Paragraph number two:

  • You may actually have to just get very blunt

  • and say what's really on your mind.

  • When you do this,

  • don't attack people;

  • you attack tactics.

  • Ad hominem attacks will get you nowhere.

  • Paragraph number three:

  • When animals are attacked or cornered,

  • they will fight to the death,

  • so you have to give them an exit.

  • Most of the time, if they have an exit strategy, they should take it.

  • "Obviously, you're intelligent.

  • If you had the right information,

  • you would have done the right thing." (Laughter)

  • Lastly, you want to be the nurturing agent.

  • You're the safe place to come in to.

  • So, in paragraph number four,

  • you're going to tell people,

  • "If no one is providing you with this information, let me help." (Laughter)

  • Animals do displays. They do two things:

  • They warn you or they try to attract you

  • and say, "We need to mate."

  • You're going to do that by the way you sign your letter.

  • You do a number of things: you're a vice president,

  • you volunteer, you do something else.

  • Why is is this important?

  • Because this establishes the two

  • primary criteria for the political creature:

  • that you have influence in a large sphere,

  • and that my preservation depends on you.

  • Here is one very quick hack,

  • especially for the feds in the audience.

  • Here's how you mail your letter.

  • First of all, you send the original to the district office.

  • So, you send the copy to the main office.

  • If they follow protocol, they'll pick up the phone and say, "Hey, do you have the original?"

  • Then some droid in the back puts the name on a tickler

  • and says, "Oh, this is an important letter."

  • And you actually get into the folder

  • that the elected official actually has to read.

  • So, what your letter means:

  • I've got to tell you, we are all in a party,

  • and political officials are the pinatas.

  • (Laughter)

  • We are harangued, lectured to,

  • sold, marketed,

  • but a letter is actually one of the few times

  • that we have honest communication.

  • I got this letter when I was first elected,

  • and I still carry it to

  • every council meeting I go to.

  • This is an opportunity at real dialogue,

  • and if you have stewardship

  • and want to communicate,

  • that dialogue is incredibly powerful.

  • So when you do that, here's what I can promise:

  • You're going to be the 800 pound gorilla in the forest.

  • Get writing.

  • (Applause)

One of the things that

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【TED】Omar Ahmad: Political change with pen and paper (Omar Ahmad: Political change with pen and paper)

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    Zenn posted on 2017/11/27
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