Becoming a citizen activist : stories, strategies, and advice for changing our world

by Nick Licata

Hardcover, 2016




Seattle, WA : Sasquatch Books, [2016]


Recent waves of social activism like the Occupy movement and Black Lives Matter show that you can fight city hall--or any other powerful entity for that matter. Now comes the playbook for citizen activists wanting to improve the world around them from Nick Licata, admired Seattle city councilmember and one of the city's most effective leaders of political and social change since the 1960s. In this smart and powerful book, Licata explains how to get organized, congregate power, and master the tactics for change. He is insightful in comparing effective communication with methods that just don't work. Licata's observations on the intricacies of power will empower any activist who wants to make a difference in today's world.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Othemts
A Seattle city councilor provides ideas, strategies, and practical advice for how any citizen can effect positive political change in their communities. It includes tips on how to deal with elected officials as well as demonstrating a cause to the public at large. I read a library copy, but this is such a practical manual it would be handy to have my own copy to refer to.
Favorite Passages:
"Politicians often know what the right thing to do is, but unless there is an organized constituency to put pressure on other public official, they may feel they don't have enough support to get legislation passed. The role of a citizen activist is to coax politicians to have the courage to pursue their own beliefs." - p. 20

"Citizens often find that the biggest obstacle to change is government inertia. It is difficult to wrestle with, because its reluctance is couched in soft general terms and processes. But government hesitation will often melt away if opposing parties agree to a common course of action. This is why it is important to talk to your opponents. You need to think of how to work with them to overcome a common antagonist; often it is an unresponsive government." - p. 31

"The lesson for all activists is that you need to have a dual-prong approach to changing the political landscape: being in the streets pr
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