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Justice for ALL

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San Francisco demonstration against pending deportation of 13,000 Muslims - June 2003

”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



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Strategy building and strategic planning

Strategy is a careful coordination of activities and methodical deployment of resources to achieve a desired goal. The task of the strategist is to discover or develop optimal means for the achievement of a particular end.

Strategy mix: Building blocks for any given strategy. It is the combination of elements that make up the entire process of achieving a goal.

Power Strategy Mix: Combining several strategies for the achievement of a single goals. Alternately, it also refers to classification of a given population into several types: i) supportive, ii) approachable, iii) skeptical, iv) critical, and v) hostile. And developing a separate but related strategy for each segment.

Incumbent strategies: Judith Trent and Robert Friedenberg have observed that “an incumbent has many more strategy options than challengers. These include: i) an official podium to speak from, ii) easier if not ready access to the media, iii) power of appointments to jobs t o special committees, iv) greater ability to set the agenda, v) a claim of providing stability and continuity, and usually can refer to a track record of achievements to invoke retrospective voting. Most incumbents seek to limit public debate with their opponents and routinely ignore and exclude third party candidates. The higher the office, the greater the ability to ignore and exclude.

Challenger strategies: while incumbents usually call for continuity, the challengers most of the time call for a change – a change in direction and leadership. For this they heavily rely on public polls, political advertising, altering the existing agenda by reframing the key issues or introducing new issues and by seeking to change the ‘direction of conflict’ in the community, from a racial division to a class division, for example.

Citizens strategies: These strategies are aimed at self-education and self-empowerment and include a wide variety of steps ranging from voter registration to ballot education and from public debates to online suggestions for community development.

Involving Citizens in Shaping Their Community's Future: Redmond's innovative community involvement program is designed to encourage participation from a broader spectrum of the community than traditionally participates at public hearings. The ongoing program provides an opportunity to discuss issues facing the community. Citizens are organized in small groups (8 to 12 people) who meet at their convenience over a three week period, three or four times a year. The meetings are often held in homes, classrooms or less intimidating settings than typical for public hearings.

Washington State's growth management plan requirement stimulated a number of innovative local government efforts to encourage earlier and more representative citizen involvement. Many communities began the process by working with citizens toward developing a vision of what the community should be like in the future. The resulting vision statements were then used to guide plan development. Port Townsend used small group "coffee hour" discussion of basic questions such as why do people move or leave Port Townsend? What do you like, dislike about the community? What needs improvement? with questions and comments.

Other city / state-initiated strategies include: Involving Citizens in Community Improvement, Supporting Neighborhoods as Incubators for Active Citizenship, Improving Access to Local Government, Language Resource Guide, Using Technology to Inform and Foster Interaction such as ‘Online Opportunity for Citizen Comment, Physical Design to Facilitate Social Interaction

Source: American Muslim Alliance

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