Learn How Act Now With The Animals' Platform!
- Read The Animals' Platform
- Read The Animals' Platform Position Statements
- Adapt The Animals' Platform to meet the needs of the animals in your community, city, county, state and country
- Question candidates at public forums and in private meetings for their position on animal protection issues
- Encourage candidates to complete a written questionnaire to help you determine their position on animal protection issues
- Work with others because a coordinated approach will impress the candidates
Email feedback to Kim W. Stallwood at email@example.com
Questioning candidates for public office on animal protection issues, particularly for the first time, will likely involve telling them about the different ways society abuses animals. This is because they often will not be informed about the issues. Be prepared to patiently and politely educate them over a period of time through a variety of ways (e.g., private meetings, public forums, correspondence, email, questionnaires) important to build a relationship with them so that they get to know you and understand why you feel passionately about animals. Animal protection groups should create an animals platform for your city, county or state with particular emphasis on local issues.
It is very important to understand that IRS 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt, not-for-profit organizations operate under very strict rules on what they can and cannot do when they are involved with political organizing. A nonprofit group cannot participate in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate. It can, however, engage in voter education activities, including publishing a survey of candidates responses to a survey, which must be impartial and unbiased in any way. Visit The Independent Sector Web site for more information (www.independentsector.org/programs/gr/advocacy_fact_sheet.htm).
Political organizing for animals should run parallel with other forms of public education campaigns for maximum effect. With each successive election it will be possible to build relationships with candidates and their political parties. Consider joining a political party and work within to help develop its position on animal issues. Also think about standing for public office. Do not, however, allow yourself to become known as someone who is only concerned about animals!
The political universe is not for everyone. By its very nature, politics, as it is often said, is the art of the possible. This means that animal advocates who become political activists must learn how to balance their utopian vision of animal liberation with the reality of pragmatic politics. The political universe is far from perfect. Decisions will be invariably made that may be popular for some and not so with others.