A most frequent cause of failure in a grass roots effort is that volunteer advocates wear out and lose hope. It’s important to raise awareness that any major effort will likely take years of incremental steps.
From New York Times: U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman proved both a highly skilled legislator and an expert in oversight of government laws and programs during his 40 years in the House. He was an example of traits valuable to legislators (and grass roots advocates): tenacity and perseverance.
It was eight years from his first hearing on a mysterious disease affecting gay men until the signing in 1990 of legislation to combat AIDS. His fight for legislation to beef up the Clean Air Act, which he called “the most successful environmental law we have on the books,” took even longer, nearly a decade.
I’m not quite sure what to make of this from U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia: If lawmakers are to break out of the partisan cycle, they need to avoid being inundated by their constituents in an increasingly digital world where members of Congress find themselves under immediate pressure as events unfold.
“If new members allow their base to control their behavior up here they are going to be miserable,” said Mr. Kingston, who has seen the rising influence of Tea Party activists on Republican lawmakers. “While the voters might be yelling and screaming at you to do something, that’s not your job.”