Help for Advocates and Reformers
Knowledge of a specific issue is not enough to affect change. Advocates need to know the process, how to present the right information at the right time, how to work with coalitions, appeal to opponents, activate grassroots support, satisfy foundation funders and get the media on their side.
With a network of personal relationships with policy makers, non-profits, foundations and academic centers, Dede can help find solutions. Working both inside and outside of government, she has formulated and executed strategic initiatives in the fields of health care, responsive and ethical government, human services, environmental protection, sustainable development and neighborhood improvement. Past clients include: Common Cause New Mexico, the Thornburg Foundation, Mayors against Illegal Guns, the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments, the Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs, the NM Brain Injury Advisory Council, and many others.
Graduated Drivers License Campaign: An Example of Success
The 1999 New Mexico Graduated Drivers License Campaign, led by AAA New Mexico and Sen. Dede Feldman, a senator and public relations practitioner, was a campaign to reduce the state’s high number of teen traffic fatalities by passing a graduated drivers license bill. In less than a year, the grassroots coalition researched traffic statistics, drafted, introduced and passed legislation to mandate more behind-the-wheel experience for beginning drivers. In the process, this diverse coalition, which ranged from county sheriffs to pediatricians, marshaled evidence, media coverage and national support to get a veto-prone governor to sign the bill. Working with a budget of only $8,000, the coalition obtained favorable coverage and editorial support from the state’s major newspapers and effectively used parents, law enforcement and other surrogates to lobby the legislature and the executive branch. With the help of the business and insurance communities, and a persistent phone bank the governor signed the bill and it is in effect today. The NM Traffic Safety Bureau reports that it has saved scores of young lives over the past decade.
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