So if you are one of the people who TRULY want to change the politics as usual & the corrupt culture of our local government & state government. Here is an outline of how you can start your own local watchdog groups, laws vary in different towns, cities, counties & states but if you don’t like the laws in any of them you have the tools to change them.
I am going to start offering classes to different communities to teach people how to start.
Here is a small list to get you going, if you need any help then you can call me or email me at anytime of the day, any day of the week. (You have to post or email me first so I don’t have to post my phone number here though) Just be warned though that I can’t offer you any legal advice, the only help I can give you is what common citizens can do.
1) First & most important is to vote
Most people have become so discouraged they believe their vote doesn’t count but that is a lie that corrupt politicians would rather have you believe so they remain in power. It is also a cop out for those who won’t take the initiative to learn about or become involved in the process.
2.) Before you vote RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH your candidates, don’t just pick the same familiar faces, or the one with the shiniest smiling photo.
A) Research what rules or laws they have voted on,
B) Research their criminal history & many of them have horrid criminal histories.
C) If they say they went to a University of some kind check out that school to make sure it’s not some strange diploma mill.
D) Research who their biggest campaign contributors are because THAT is who they are working for & who’s best interest they have at heart: Not you or yours
3) Go to Council meetings!
A) Learn what laws these people are passing, & ask WHY
B) Meet them personally & if they won’t give you a few minutes of their time do NOT give them your vote the next time around. Also make sure to meet others at the council meetings so you can learn more from them ~ they may be your greatest asset
C) Find out what groups & committees are. You would be amazed at how many of them there are in your community but generally they put family members or friends on these committees so they can get the results THEY desire while you sit idly ignorantly by oblivious to what is really going on.
4) Learn how to use the public records act, NOT to harass but to educate & remind the Government that they are accountable to YOU not the other way around.
Ask for concrete common sense records. Just be warned one of the MOST popular tactics of any govt agency is to come back & ask you to clarify your request so they can whittle it down to nothing or frustrate you so badly that you walk away in frustration.
Do NOT play into that, simply reply I want ALL of the records I requested for the time period I have requested, do not change it, because that is a license for them to keep asking you to amend your request & putting you off.
5) Save the environment!!!Save yourself some money too!
When you request public records the secret is this: Ask for all of the records in electronic format. NO PAPER, all files onto either PST Files (which can be opened up with Outlook) or in PDF form all on CD so that way they can’t charge you 50 cents for each sheet of paper. They will give you literally 1000’s of pieces of unrelated or useless documents to “punish” you for DARING to question them. Doing it my way it is roughly 3 to 5 dollars for each disk.
Understand they are going to whine that your public records requests are eating into their time & budget, at which point you need to remind them that their time & budget are paid for by your tax dollars & that they are PUBLIC servants, hence they work for you. They seem to forget this quite often.
Maybe you could suggest to them that they should create a website where they download all of their records so that you can easily access all of them so you wouldn’t have to do a public records request.
6) Get a group of like minded people together & form your own committee. There are laws that govern the creation of citizens committees learn what yours are & create away!
It is called the right to assemble & you have every right, responsibility & DUTY to be involved in your local politics. Make sure to keep an eye out for any committee positions that come open & also be sure to check out ANYONE already on those committees, what have they voted for, what have they approved, why, how did it affect them & do a public disclosure request to find out how many are related to the county city or state govt so you know where you stand with certain members.
7) Start a blog!
I would recommend only one blog site & that is Worpress.com or WordPress.org, the first is free with limited storage, the second is a premium service that is actually more then affordable.
Most importantly they get indexed in every major search engine far more then any other blog, as evidenced by all 6 of my other blogs floating around in dead cyberspace. This is the one that gets the most hits by far & the one that is indexed in every single major & minor search engine. If you are going to get the word out people have to be able to find you first.
I need to stress this to you beyond everything: If you are going to blog make sure that you can back up everything you say with documentation. Even if you think you’re getting info from a credible source just remember that people lie, & even if they are not out & out lying they may not have all the details enough to understand the whole situation.
If you print something that is incorrect DO NOT delete it & pretend it didn’t happen, own it & issue a prompt correction or redaction. Your integrity is ALL you have & media protection laws can only go so far if you cross the wrong lines.
It is especially important to note that Public & Elected Officials are just that & not subject to the same protection as private individuals, so be very careful if you are going to write about a citizen, as it could destroy you financially & destroy everything you have worked for.
Also remember to use tags so that your site gets picked up by the major search engines & to bring more traffic to your site.
8) Create a webpage!
It is always a good idea to have a static webpage that gives people the general idea of what it is you are trying to accomplish. You can link to your blog on it & there are many free web site hosting or building sites available. I use Yolasite.com & even though it doesn’t seem to get indexed as much it is an easy to build platform so I prefer it, but GoDaddy also has some fairly cheap & easy alternatives.
I have had many people ask me how to monetize their sites or webpages, sorry but that part kind of escapes me. I tried the Google thing & made 4.5 cents, yes 4 & a 1/2 pennies so obviously I am doing something wrong. I guess you could get a paypal account & add a donate button to it & if people are committed enough to what you are doing then maybe they’ll donate.
There are many many other tips & tricks I have learned which I will only share with people who are committed to actually doing something. Like how to track folks coming to your site, even with proxies, & the specific case laws or RCW’s you need to cite to to get these folks to cooperate with you, & how to index records you receive to protect them as well as protecting your personal communication. I’m not going to waste my time talking to doorknobs.
I am available to come & meet with any group at any time anywhere across the Northwest but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to charge a stipend for it ~ like food gas or boarding or something. I don’t know. If you can groups together from several communities that would be awesome, & cheaper on me.
I don’t care what you do ~ Just DO SOMETHING!!!!
I don’t need you to think like me ~ I just need you to THINK!!!
Give up a couple of hours a week & get involved in your local politics, bring your children, bring your grandchildren, talk to your neighbors, it is a very SMALL price to pay for the freedoms that millions have died for.