Community Advocacy

“The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens." ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

In Democracy in America, the one thing that struck Alexis de Tocqueville was the amount of civic engagement. Everywhere he went, he witnessed citizens gathering together to solve community problems at the local level. We believe this is what made America great, and it's what could save us in the end.

Ask yourself: Who knows my community the best? Washington D.C. or my neighbors and I?The answer is obvious, but unless you get involved, the Federal government will try to "solve" your city's problems.

Our tips for community advocacy:

Spend your time wisely: Small groups and associations are a fantastic way to influence opinion.

Write an op-ed: As a local business person, you have a unique voice. Use it.

Stay positive: Remember, the world is getting better because of economic freedom and peaceful trade. Share this message with your neighbors.

Be patient, very patient: Real policy change happens at the 'speed of government,' but you'll feel good to know you're making your community a better place in the meantime. 

Make a Difference Today

Tips and ideas for making an impact in your community
Start a Discussion: Screen Poverty, Inc

The West has positioned itself as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multi-billion dollar poverty industry — the business of doing good has never been better.

Yet the results have been mixed, in some cases even catastrophic, and leaders in the developing world are growing increasingly vocal in calling for change.

Drawing from over 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we can no longer ignore.

From TOMs Shoes to international adoptions, from solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, the film challenges each of us to ask the tough question: Could I be part of the problem?

Learn More > 

Join Your Homeowners Association Board

It doesn't get more local than this!  

In The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek claimed "the worst always get on top." And that's probably true for your neighborhood as well. Good people (like you) typically avoid controlling other peoples' lives. Therefore, HOAs notoriously devolve into a group of micro-fascists who have nothing better to do than complain about the color of your front door, tell your kids where to play, and raise your annual dues.

But you can change this! Join your local HOA and be the voice of reason. Better yet, become the treasurer, trim the fat out of the budget and lower dues! Your neighbors will thank you.

Speak up! Write an Op-Ed.

People hear from politicians, academics, and pundits all the time, but as a member of the business community, you have a unique voice. If done right, opinion editorials are a fantastic way for you to influence your community. 

The hard part is getting your article published, so we've linked several articles (below) on how to write a great op-ed. 

Be sure to mention the Bastiat Society in your article and we'll do what we can to promote your article!

How to write an Op-Ed:

Tips from Duke University
Tips from the Op-Ed Project
Tips from the New York Times

Join a Citizen Advisory Board or Commission

Cities, counties, and states appoint citizen boards, commissions, task forces, and committees to advise their legislative bodies on a wide range of policy issues. Some of these boards are designated by statute for a specific purpose, such as a building code board of appeals. Other boards and commissions may be authorized by statute, but it is left up to the discretion of the local governing body whether to create an advisory board or commission.

More information > 

Do Your Homework

Must-read books for any political advocate

The Law
by Frederic Bastiat

Print Edition

Online and Kindle

Economics in One Lesson
by Henry Hazlitt

Print Edition

Online and Audio

The Libertarian Mind
by David Boaz

Buy from Cato
Use code BASTIAT for 35% off

Buy from Amazon

The Rational Optimist
by Matt Ridley

Buy from Amazon

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