By: Joshua Habursky, Assistant Vice President of Advocacy Independent Community Bankers of America and Chairman of the Grassroots Professional Network
The evolving and growing nature of grassroots in both the political and advocacy space certainly merits discussion. The forum hosted by the American Association of Political Consultants and Grassroots Professional Network examined this topic and looked at the similarities and differences in organizing tools, tactics, and techniques in each sub-category of grassroots. The depth and diversity of panelist backgrounds provided a holistic understanding of what it takes to recruit, train, and mobilize a person to take a type of action.
The consensus among panelists was that 1) grassroots organizing in the political sphere is a little ahead of grassroots organizing in the advocacy community 2) there are more similarities than differences between the two areas 3) the essence of grassroots comes down to getting the right message to the right audience at the right time. If Grassroots were boiled down to a simple mathematical equation it would be Grassroots = Emotional Appeal + Type of Action. Grassroots organizing will continue to be an essential component to any political campaign or advocacy cause for many years to come.
The level of sophistication, refinement, and production of new technologies in the space will require continued discussion and learning to keep up with the shifting trends. The 2018 election cycle will be the foreground for many new advancements in grassroots organizing and several case studies will result from this pivotal time in both electoral politics and advocacy. The American Association of Political Consultants and the Grassroots Professional Network look forward to providing these forums and educational opportunities to explore the intersection between the fields.