If you don’t monitor compliance and threats, who will? Change is hard. When people feel like no one is watching, it’s easy to disregard a policy. It’s equally important to monitor people or groups organizing a plan to resist or threaten policy change. If it took you a year to get your policy passed, expect threats to your policy for at least a year.
- Monitor policy compliance. See section on “collecting and sharing local data” for tips.
- Discuss with your coalition members what perfect compliance looks like.
- Design a simple assessment tool with your compliance criteria.
- Ask volunteers to choose from a list of locations to assess.
- Compile your results to learn how good or bad policy compliance is.
- Publicly congratulate and thank those who are doing well. See “share results in a meaningful way” section for tips.
- If you discover policy violations, first respectfully notify the violator. If they continue to go against the policy, notify whoever has authority to enforce it.
- Monitor policy threats.
- Figure out who is organizing opposition and why. Prepare rebuttal statements to their specific arguments. Use data as much as possible.
- Find out what the other side needs to do to overturn the policy.
- Ask community members and decision-makers who supported your policy to notify you if they hear of any organized attempts to repeal the policy.
- Have a presence at meetings where your policy is being threatened. Rally your supporters, just like you did when you presented the policy. Ask for the opportunity to defend the policy with your rebuttal statements. Hold back emotions and stick to the facts.
- Did you learn anything new about the opposers position? What information do you need to counter their position?
- What can you do better in the future to defend the policy?
Čaŋlí Coalition Example
Three years after Ordinance 77 passed, we worked with youth volunteers to assess business compliance. Volunteers looked for people smoking or cigarette butts within 50 of building entrances, and smoke-free air signs at each entrance.
The Canli Coalition successfully defended Ordinance 77 four times from 2015-2018. Policy threats came in the form of petitions to repeal, requests for exceptions, and complaints that the policy was hurting business revenue and a violation of smoker’s rights. Coalition members learned about the petition through the rumor mill. We were notified of less formal complaints to tribal council by council members who helped pass the policy.
Canli Coalition Video
For each threat, we used social media and a calling tree to rally our supporters and show up in numbers at the meeting. One time, our youth volunteers weren’t able to get out of school to attend the meeting, so they created a video we shared with decision makers and on social media.