DownsizeDC.org
January 9, 2007
It begins!
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . . It begins! What is "it?" "It" is . . . Operation Everywhere, our plan to buy advertising to make the "Read the Bills Act," and other Downsize DC proposals, seen-and-heard" by everyone, everywhere, everyday. We won't realize this ultimate goal overnight, but the first steps in that direction can begin now, as in TODAY. How is this possible? After all, we've made a point of telling you we couldn't begin advertising until we had secure funding for our basic annual operating expenses. Well, . . . We've altered our plans. And here's why . . . January is only 9 days old and we've already covered our $14,000 in basic expenses for the month. How is that possible? Simple . . . * We now have about $6,500 in monthly credit card pledges (up $500 from last month), which means we begin each month nearly halfway to our goal. * Downsizers have continued to start new monthly pledges and make one-time donations everyday But here's something interesting. One donor just wrote our sister organization, the Downsize DC Foundation, a tax-exempt, $8,000 check. Back in October, a philanthropist said he was watching. He too sent the Foundation money -- $10,000! We will be introducing our new Foundation project very soon. Work is being done on that right now. But here's the real point . . . We can expect to see more of these bigger donors as we continue taking AGGRESSIVE ACTION in 2007. We know there are people who are closely watching our activity, to see if we're a good investment. * The more people we recruit, * The more pressure we apply to Congress, * And the more one-time donations and monthly pledges we receive, * The more major donors will decide that we're a good place to invest significant resources We also know that advertising will bring us more recruits, more pressure on Congress, more small donations and monthly pledges, and more big investments from major donors. Advertising is the key to making Downsize DC a perpetual-growth and perpetual-pressure machine. And the sooner we get started, the better. We're making a bet that 2007 is going to be a big year for us. We're making a bet that it's going to become easier-and-easier to make our monthly budget, even before we have secure monthly pledges to cover the entire amount. So we're instituting a new policy, starting today . . . Each month, as soon as we reach the $14,000 goal, we'll buy advertising with each additional dollar we raise for the rest of the month. We're already at that point for January. So the more we raise in January, the more advertising we will buy. So how does Operation Everywhere begin? Here's the plan . . . We need to introduce the "Read the Bills Act" (RTBA) to the new Congress. Some of the new members don't know about it yet, and the old ones need as many reminders as we can provide. We also need to introduce RTBA to the media. It may come as a surprise to you that we haven't done this yet, but there is a method to our seeming madness. There are two things that can kill any new business or organization. One is not having enough business. The other is having too much too quickly. We believe very strongly that it is only a matter of time before the "Read the Bills Act" becomes incredibly well-known. But we didn't want that to happen before we had the strength and resources to cope with explosive growth. There was a slim, but very real possibility, that significant early media exposure would cause RTBA to take off too fast. We also lacked the resources to do much in the way of media outreach early on. These two factors combined to make us keep our power dry. Now we feel a little more confident, so we're going to . . . * Fax RTBA to the new Congress * Blast fax press releases about RTBA to the media * Buy radio advertising in Washington, DC to make sure the national press corp gets the message If journalists hear our ads on the way to work they will be more likely to do something with our press releases, and any media attention we get will be worth far more than the ads themselves. But what really matters now is that we make our mark -- they need to know about RTBA and they need to know its the work product of DownsizeDC.org. Targeting the Washington press corps is how we plan to leverage your money to get the biggest bang for the buck. And we'll look for similar leverage points as we move forward. If we can do ad buys to leverage media attention, we'll do that. If advertising funds are limited, we'll follow the path of least resistance, buying ads, primarily on the Internet, where we're most likely to find new Downsizers. Looking further downstream . . . There's tremendous potential to focus our ads buys to achieve other powerful outcomes, on top of the recruitment that will result. Our ultimate goal is to force a change in Congressional behavior, but we don't have to pick-off all 535 members all at once. We can use our advertising to . . . PICK OFF THE HERD We could, in the future, focus advertising in one district at a time, until we force individual members to support RTBA, and other proposals, one-by-one. But this isn't the only way we can leverage our advertising. We can also . . . STRIKE AT THE HEAD Most of what happens in Congress isn't determined by Congress as a whole, but by the leaders of the majority party, and by the Committee Chairs. By focusing our advertising in the districts of these leaders, we may be able to move even further, even faster. DOWNSIZE DC IS STILL CLOSER TO THE BEGINNING THAN THE END. There are still so many tools and strategies we can employ as we grow larger. There are leverage points yet to be used and synergies yet to be obtained. But the important thing is to BEGIN, and we have several factors in our favor that make it important to begin TODAY. 1. There are still 22 days left this month. EVERY DONATION MADE THE REST OF THIS MONTH WILL BUY ADVERTISING. Let's make our proverbial hay while the sun shines. Who knows what next month will bring? 2. We already have a "Read the Bills" radio ad in the can, so we don't have to pay any production costs. 3. We already have $2,000 available to begin buying these RTBA ads. A confession: We jumped the gun a little bit when we raised money to advertise on poker sites. We couldn't find any deals that were worth the money, so we held onto it rather than waste it. We can use that money now to promote RTBA. But things get even better. Last month Super-Downsizer James Marquart pledged to donate $500 if 5 other people made $100 contributions. 5 did, and James did, for a total of $1,000. Now James is making the same offer this month. If 5 people make $100 contributions to this advertising campaign, James will contribute $500. So your $100 contribution could be worth $1,000. You can make your $100 contribution HERE. We would also urge you to support this advertising campaign, and future advertising buys, by starting a monthly credit card pledge. Money raised this month will go to the advertising campaign. But these pledges help us to meet our monthly budget goal sooner, so we can do more advertising more often, and sooner in each new month. You can start your monthly credit card pledge HERE. If a $100 contribution or monthly pledge doesn't fit, you can always contribute MORE, or less, and you can do so HERE. Finally, I am planning to go to Washington to do interviews on RTBA in conjunction with this campaign. If you think RTBA might tickle the media's fancy, help me do as many interviews as possible. Please contribute whatever you can to this advertising campaign by clicking HERE. Actually, I lied. Since 2007 is the year of AGGRESSIVE ACTION, we need to keep ALL of our numbers moving all the time. So as soon as you've finished making your contribution (I hope) please also send Congress a message about RTBA. We need to soften them up for the coming blitz. You can send your message HERE. Thank you for being a DC Downsizer! Jim Babka President Downsize DC Foundation & DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
Filed under Downsizer Dispatch
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