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Before you plan out the details of your campaign, you may need to fill gaps in your knowledge:

___You don't need to know everything, but a good understanding of the issue is essential

___It is important not only to know the facts, but to understand the beliefs of the people you serve, and of your opponents. It is also important to know how they came to those beliefs

A thorough understanding of the issue will help you to:

___Convince your members the issue is important

___Persuade allies to join your cause

___Understand your opponents

___Be precise in your planning

___Educate the public

You will need to know:

___How people in different segments of the community feel about the issue

___What makes the opponents tick

___What it will take for the political structure of the community to make and/or accept change

The information you need will probably be of two types:

___General background information

___Specific information about the issue as it affects your community

Getting general information to educate yourselves about the issue:

___May involve working in libraries

___May involve surfing on the Web

___May involve digging in archives, annual reports, and yearbooks

___May involve recruiting experts

Gathering information about the issue as it affects your own community may involve:

___Using media archives

___Using City Hall archives

___Getting information from local business interests

You can fill in the gaps by getting information from:

___Community leaders

___Representatives of the business community

___Educators (i.e. school board members, or school principals)

 If you need more information about the thoughts and feelings of local residents, you can make a start with:


___Focus groups

___Guided discussions