“The number-one rule about politics, like fundraising and movement building, is that it is all about relationships.”
–Mike Roque in Grassroots Fundraising Journal
Organizing is all about relationships. Fundraising is just organizing for money, and political activity is organizing for policy.
And they are all about relationships.
Sometimes, though, activists resist building relationships with potitical figures. We spend so much time criticizing the political establishment we convince ourselves we should have nothing to do with it.
I believe it is a mistake when we refuse to build relationships with people in positions of power.
Some activists have a vision of themselves as the perpetual outsider, and that limits our ability to get inside where the decisions are made.
Yes, sometimes doors are closed to us, but sometimes what keeps us outside is that we don’t even try to open the doors because we assume they are closed to people like us.
So go ahead, build those relationships. Try to open that door (as a person rather than as a rampaging cause). Create human connections. Establish the lines of communication that will carry the policy changes you want to see forward.