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Activists who want to initiate outreach on technology-based social and political issues at the community level are likely to find lots of receptive audiences, since many of these issues have broad bipartisan appeal. Organizations to contact include: labor unions and associations of retired union members, civil liberties and civil rights organizations, immigrant rights organizations, church groups and inter-faith organizations, and senior organizations.

Many local organizations publish newsletters. Ask if they are willing to include a brief article about the issue you are working on. Some organizations will even accommodate a one-page flyer as an insert, if they feel the issue is important enough. Be sure to include your name and phone number so people who want more information can contact you.

Some organizations -- particularly senior groups and civic clubs -- schedule speakers on a variety of issues. Let these organizations know that you are available to speak about this issue. Most organizations that invite speakers want you to keep the talk brief, often no more than 15 minutes. If you're invited to talk, bring a flyer to hand out after your talk.

Attend community group meetings whether or not you have an opportunity to speak, and hand out flyers about your issue to the other attendees. Ask your local library or community center to post the flyer, and hand them out at rallies and demonstrations organized by community groups on other issues. Mail copies to friends and neighbors who don't have E-mail accounts, and send information by E-mail to those who do.

Other ways to raise awareness about technology policy issue within your community include writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and calling in to local talk radio shows. If your City Council includes a public comment period on the meeting agenda, sign up to speak and ask your council members to take a stand on this issue.