5 Steps to Pass a Local Demilitarization Resolution.
We encourage all local groups to consider working to pass resolutions in support of demilitarization in their local communities. This is a great way to educate the public and to send a strong signal to other elected officials that people care about these issues. The ways in which you can pass a resolution will depend on the laws in the state and locality where you live.
- Watch this step-by-step video on why and how you can get these resolutions passed.
- Our draft Demilitarization Resolution is less restrictive than some of the others, and therefore might be easier for you to pass, but each resolution goes through many iterations before it gets passed, with individual council members adding and taking away certain clauses. Don't get too caught up in the wording. The most important thing is to pass something that shows popular discontent with the human and civil rights crisis our communities are facing through violent policing, unregulated domestic drones and surveillance. We encourage you to modify and amend resolutions to fit the needs of your community. Check out this Google Folder of sample resolutions for support.
- Several states have passed drone legislation. Check these websites (ACLU and INSCT) to see if there is any legislation that has passed or is pending in your state. It will help to convince local officials if there is already state-wide concern (and you can try to make your local resolution stricter than the statewide legislation).
- Make a list of names of people and organizations in your city that might be interested in this campaign. Pick a date and time for a meeting. Call each person and convene a meeting to kick off the campaign. Depending on your city, this could be a public meeting of 30-50 people or just a small meeting of a few interested people.
- Tell us about the meeting and we can help you contact other CODEPINKers in your city!
- At the meeting, divide up the following tasks:
- Choose one person to facilitate and another to take notes
- Choose a resolution that is appropriate for your community.
- Contact elected officials. During the meeting brainstorm the potential supporters on the city council or supervisors. Identify the best member at the meeting to connect with each council member. (Contact information & list of council members should be available on the city website online.) You’ll need to identify one or two council members who can help you introduce and push the resolution.
- Outreach to the broader community, building a support network in your city with like-minded groups. You might want to have a sign-on letter that shows broad support. Think of organizations that are concerned about civil liberties (civil rights groups, groups representing oppressed communities), faith-based groups, libertarians.
3. Take action!
- Make appointments with the City Council or Supervisor members you think will be most sympathetic (in some cases, you might want to approach the County instead of your city). Bring them copies of a sample resolution and if possible, a letter showing broad-based community support.
- Follow up to make sure that one of the elected officials will put the resolution on the agenda of the next council meeting. If it is difficult to get the commitment, you might have to get other people and organizations calling that council member’s office. Prepare a sample script for people to use when they make calls.
4. Get the votes
- Once you have gotten a city council member or supervisor to agree to introduce the resolution, follow up with the other elected officials to ensure you will have enough votes to pass the resolution.
5. Prepare for public comment
- When the resolution gets on the agenda, make sure you have people prepared to make public comments. Work with them ahead of time to make sure their statements are concise, on point and powerful.
6. Show community support at the meeting
- On the night of the meeting get as many people from the peace community there as possible. Organize a rally before the meeting outside of City Hall. Invite the press and use this sample press release. The more support you can show, the more pressure your elected officials will feel to listen to their constituents.
7. Follow up
- Contact the press with your success story and write an article yourself (make sure you send it to Chelsea so we can post it on the CODE blog, PINKTank, and help you spread the word).
We’re making this sound simple, but it’s not always easy -- or successful. Whether or not you’re successful in passing the resolution, just the attempt itself will help spur a critical dialogue that will educate your community and put the industry on notice that the public is watching! Don't hesitate to ask, we're here to help!