Monday, March 15, 2010

How Not to Do Advocacy

Do you want to advocate on a zoning issue? Don’t do what these people did.

First, your author and several readers across the county received a mailing inside this envelope.

It says, “Important Tax Information Enclosed.” Well, as the income tax deadline is approaching, of course we will all open it.

Then this notice appears inside.

Note the complete anonymity and lack of explanation for this issue. It turns out that there is a zoning issue in Germantown scheduled for the time mentioned on the notice. “Important Tax Information,” indeed!

Days later, we received this postcard.

Now there is a name to go with these folks: Germantown Residents for Smart Growth. But there is still no contact info and no explanation of the issue.

Furthermore, the notice and postcard urge us to email Council President Floreen. Of course, off-the-record communications on zoning issues are forbidden by the county’s ex parte rule. So now we have two anonymous notes sent all over the county urging citizens to break the law.

Here is our message to the fools who have been spraying around this drivel. The next time you want to waste your money, just set fire to it instead.