A ballot initiative spin on a tea party video

A recent tea party video got me thinking about how to adapt this message to communicate about ballot initiatives.

Instead of hammering the need to protest, I think we need to hammer on the means of protest, and we need to depict the elected representative’s perspective, not the citizen’s perspective. For example, suppose there is a rally outside. Focus on the rep’s reaction: he turns off the TV or closes the window. Or suppose activists deliver a 100,000 signature petition. Focus on the rep’s reaction: he phones the Congressional shredding service and gets rid of the bulky paper. Or suppose activists mail into lots of tea bags. Focus on the rep’s reaction: he makes tea for his favorite lobbyists who are passing him suitcases full of cash. As a coda, show the recent clip of Congressman Baccus calling for more police at the health reform hearing.

Then present the solution: NI4D—a partnership in participation. Show a ballot with a contrived initiative summary like "I want my elected representative to work with me in partnership as an equal." with the NI4D logo. Mark the "yes" box.

Jump back to some of the scenes of corruption earlier. Show the police intervening—not by pouncing on the rep but just preventing the corruption. For example, show the rep trying to receive a suitcase full of money from lobbyists, but the police stopping the deal.[1] Then show congresspeople engaging in praiseworthy behavior: shaking hands with the common man. The common man gives his Congressman a hug. Show a newspaper article with Congressional approval ratings skyrocketing. Etc.

NI4D — today’s solution to yesterday’s unresponsive federal government

[1] It is important to show the whole chain of events: The lobbyist offers money; the rep accepts; the rep writes a note on a proposed bill; the police disallows the note (flash *potential* *referendum*); the lobbyist looks unhappy and takes back the suitcase; and the rep produces a big smile of helplessness.

Joshua Pritikin