The Grassroots Corner May 16, 2022

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 05/16/2022

Friendly Competition Revisited

Nearly two years ago we examined how “friendly competition” organizes itself. We use that term because organizations such as Convention of States (“COS”) and Association of Mature American Citizens (“AMAC”) should mesh with us. But often they see us as competition for their resources. So, we have to learn about them from afar.

COS, like Americans for Fair Taxation, is an issue-advocacy group that has no office space, and relies heavily on volunteers. Unlike us, COS is well-funded with paid employees, is larger and more highly developed, and has advocates with a national platform, most notably, radio talk-show host Mark Levin.

COS seeks to call a convention of states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.  Americans for Fair Taxation, the national organization promoting the FAIRtax, takes no position one way or the other on the idea of calling a convention of states. This commentary merely looks at their organization and structure to give us ideas.

Like us, COS has District Directors (called “District Captains”) for Congressional Districts. District Captains are volunteers who are expected to welcome new volunteers, educate friends and others, stay in touch with their State Directors and their in-district volunteers. COS estimates that District Directors should be spending about 12 hours per month on COS activity.

COS State Directors are the next step up. They are expected to learn the technical network platform, recruit District Directors, and build a state victory strategy with their state’s leadership teams. Their expected time commitment is 18-20 hours per week.

We do not know how successful COS has been in filling all 50 of their State Director positions and all 435 District Captain positions. We suspect that, like us, COS is merely human!

Another organization we can learn from is AMAC. AMAC is similar to COS and FAIRtax in that AMAC is a non-partisan issue-advocacy group.  However, unlike COS and FAIRtax, AMAC advocates for multiple issues affecting American senior citizens.

AMAC Action, the political arm of AMAC, has three basic volunteer opportunities. The first is Chapter Member. Chapter Members attend meetings and other events to demonstrate strength in numbers with the goal of influencing legislation.

The next step up for AMAC is Chapter Leader. Chapter Leaders lead their Chapters’ regional outreach, including identifying and recruiting new grassroots volunteers and holding educational forums. 

Chapter Leaders collaborate with the next category of AMAC volunteer, the Delegate. Delegates are the primary liaison of AMAC to their local Congressional District Offices. Their goal is to establish a long-term relationship with their Member of Congress and his or her staffers. Our Marketing Team Leader, Randy Fischer, holds this position in AMAC and is a source of information for us.

Both COS and AMAC are much the way we would like to be. In states where we FAIRtax-ers are well organized, we have a state director and a state organization. In some of those states we have District Directors who serve as the liaison to Congressional Offices. In other states we have just individual contacts. My state, New Jersey, is somewhat in between. We have a group that meets through Zoom monthly to discuss ideas and execute on some of them.

I’d love to hear your ideas for growing our organization.

Take Back Control!

Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


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