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Citizen Strategies for Action

Working with the Public Policy Process

Click to download a free handout that elaborates on the topics below.

1.  Fight to get your issues on public agendas.

2.  Take and keep the initiative.

3.  Prioritize your issues.

4.  Conditions and questions are usually more effective than direct opposition.

5.  Keep your eye on the prize.

6.  Let no unsuccessful meeting or unacceptable statement go unanswered. 

7.  Reserve leverage for must-win issues.

8.  Numbers count; public policy is a marketplace of competing interests.

9.  When you’re winning, stop talking.

10.  Don’t make opponents humiliate themselves to gain your agreement.

Leave your ego at the door.  The policy succeeds or fails; not the participants.

If the policy succeeds, all the participants win; if the policy fails, all the participants lose.


Understanding the Environmental Policy Process in California

View or download this "Activist’s Toolkit for Winning Land Use Campaigns" produced by the Sierra Nevada Alliance gives a great introduction to Understanding How Land Use Decisions Happen in Your Community.

CEQA Process Flowchart

View or download this illustrated chart showing how a project would get approval through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Process.

Overview of Environmental Law

Click here to download a detailed overviw of Environmental Law by Lisa F. Brown, Assistant Counsel for Enforcement - California Environmental Protection Agency