Apply Black Friday Shopping Strategy to Activism In Olympia and Spokane
Editor’s Note: The following is a speech given by Jaclyn Gallion on Saturday July 13th at the Rescuing our children training seminar
By Jaclyn Gallion
How many here have ever gone Black Friday shopping? You know about Black Friday? The day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year, starts at like 4 in the morning? Bear with me, this will all make sense. You shop it, right?
I am very competitive by nature. If you’re anything like me, you start planning and strategizing weeks in advance. Laying out the ads, creating a shopping list, making sure we don’t forget about the 5 am 50% off socks at Fred Meyers. Large families struggle with price shopping the sales because we all know some deals on Black Friday are no deals at all, mapping out the stores based on opening times and locations, when’s the best time to get in line (Open, open, open, open…the anticipation) and more. Thanks to online shopping, it’s gotten easier to score some good deals — but the best deals most often require you to get up early and get there in person.
You may be asking yourself, “Why is she here talking to us about Black Friday?” I’ll tell you. Because like many of you, I’ve experienced government overreach and have been pushed to enter the biggest competitive shopping market of them all — Politics.
We’ve all been pushed in to politics one way or another. This was not my dream, to march the halls in Olympia, have discussions with legislators about protecting my freedom – freedom that I should not have to protect — freedom that should be guaranteed. It was never my dream to speak at rallies to try to fire up others here in Washington and across this nation to rise up and protect what they have — or reclaim what’s been taken.
I don’t think this is anyone’s dream – but it is becoming a living nightmare. We are here because outside forces and corporate interests have captured our government, turning it away — by hook or by crook — from the very principles of freedom this country was founded on.
Thomas Jefferson said: The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We’re taught that quote in school — but we don’t really understand it — not until we begin to experience it.
In all aspects of our lives, we’re pushed by an overreaching government that is stripping us of our parental rights, our property rights, our water rights and our second amendment rights. We’re being pushed to rise up against legislation that encroaches on our freedom, our family’s freedom.
We have some fantastic legislators in Olympia right now, I call them Patriots. They boldly stand on the front lines, pushing back, and not compromising on freedom.
But the mood in Olympia today among the current majority party is that the average WA citizen is too stupid to make smart decisions for themselves or their families. They want to assume the role of parent to our children and even parent to adults. When citizens allow their government to tell them how to live, how to learn, how to work, and even how to make medical decisions — we no longer have a free republic — we have tyranny. And I don’t know about you — but I refuse to hand over my beloved state and country to tyrants.
So today I am here to tell you how I apply my black Friday shopping strategy to my activism in Olympia and in Spokane.
#1 — Build a team. I don’t work alone on Black Friday and I don’t work alone in Olympia. I partner with other moms and dads who share my concerns. We organically found our way to each other – and we joined forces, utilizing our unique strengths of writing, organizing, strategies, and outreach.
#2 — Define your goals. Know exactly what you’re after. We first started out with drafting bills that would help us reach our goals, meeting with legislators to educate them on the need for the bills. We expanded, asking others who share our goals to come to Olympia and walk the halls and drop off educational materials, talk to their legislators, share their own concerns and experiences.
#3 — Study the places and the players. Get to know the legislators, what they believe, what they’ve voted for in the past, what bills they currently sponsor. Learn how the game is played and play it — learn the unwritten rules that truly drive the political game and play by those rules until you know them well enough you can choose when and where to intentionally break them. I once heard someone say — it’s not that the government is broken and needs to be fixed — the government is fixed and needs to be broken. Bring us back to our roots.
#4 — Develop a strategy. This takes experience, and if you can find someone with experience to pull on your team, you’ll be way ahead of the game. This past session, we caught wind that a bill removing parental rights was about to drop, and we had to stop and completely revise our goals and strategy. Because we had a team in place, we were able to sound the alarm, get many Washingtonians mobilized, and help spread the word.
We organized walk-and-talk days—walk-and-talks are impromptu meetings with legislators that can happen when you catch them walking from one meeting to the next. Respect is key here. It’s like trying to get a store manager in the midst of the biggest sale of the year to engage with you as she’s hurrying down the aisle — you have just a few seconds to grab her attention, to make your points, and to secure some sort of response—like getting her to agree to sell you another product for the same price as the sold-out one that had lured you to the store. She has to see how granting your request is in her best interest, and the store’s best interest. Your legislature needs to know that too — why should she care? How does helping you help her district? Help her achieve the goals she stands for? Be respectful and polite and to the point.
Strategy includes things like encouraging everyone to schedule meetings with their legislators, notifying everyone of the time and place of important hearings, giving out details of how to sign in and register, and when organizing rallies, talking in advance with security to be sure we did everything correctly – bold and courageous but not handcuffed and dragged off –
You see? In many ways, preparing to be effective grassroots citizens in Olympia is no different than the days leading to Black Friday.
Black Friday ads put their messages out there in big bold easy to grasp ads – messaging to legislators should be the same. Legislators don’t have time to read pages of information – they need Black Friday ads – bullet points they can read in the elevator on the way to a committee meeting.
And like BF deals, some goals can be achieved online through emails — but the real connections, the real communication, the real change happens person to person, face to face. You have to get up, get out, and get there in person.
#5 — Get there early, be prepared, and appropriately dressed. The first time you shop a Black Friday, you make a lot of mistakes. You show up too late, you don’t dress warm enough, you drink too much coffee and have to get out of line to find a bathroom . . . but eventually you learn what works and what doesn’t. Be appropriately dressed – your message is powerful, you should look and feel just as powerful as your message. Listen to tips about proper attire and proper engagement – the walk and talk – stay professional even when the legislator does not agree with you, or is rude to you. Hold back your tears. Your behavior reflects on YOU, not them.
This legislative session, I and about 2,000 other concerned citizens began showing up at 5:30 am to stand in line in the freezing cold, on the day of a snowstorm for an 8 am hearing. At stake was something far more important to our children’s future than a toy, iPod or a pair of socks. At stake was our children’s medical freedom – and no hour is too early and no weather too cold when it comes to protecting our children.
#6 — Learn from your mistakes. Ask for advice. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often I see egos and personality clashes stand in the way of learning how to be effective in Olympia. It must always be remembered that the freedom we fight for is not just for us, it’s far bigger than us, and we can’t make it about us. Listen, Act, Learn, Adapt. And check your ego at the door.
#7 — Do not give up. This session, a law was passed that — on paper — removed a medical freedom right — a human right that mankind has no authority to remove. The new law will attempt to coerce and punish those who refuse to give up their human right, and we now must work hard to reverse that paperwork — we could consider that new law a loss — but we prefer to look at the big picture and see that in fighting the bill and educating legislators, we gained supporters – one senator who listened said in a hearing that she was so mad about our rights being removed she was shaking.
Sometimes on Black Friday when you lose that item you wanted more than anything — you have to regroup, find another item that will serve the purpose, and the same is true in Olympia. Your bill doesn’t pass, but you find another way, another bill, another angle that can achieve your goal and you pray the elections bring more freedom minded individuals to Olympia.
Black Friday shopping isn’t always on the up-and-up. Stores don’t always play fair, or they have just 1 of the advertised items in stock. In Olympia you are dealing with outside forces who keep moving your item to a higher shelf – or out of the store completely. And in Olympia, there are stockers and clerks who have things hidden in the back room they are saving for their friends, not you. But truth will win. Truth always eventually wins.
If you’re here, you cherish freedom. You want minimal government working to protect that freedom — you don’t want government protecting itself or corporations. You’re here because that’s exactly what is happening in Olympia and in DC – the government is protecting everyone except us and this is not only dangerous to our freedom, it is dangerous to the health of our planet and our children.
My personal mission started out to protect the health of children from all the poisons dumped on them everywhere, from pesticides to pharmaceuticals — our Children’s Health is being compromised. We know it, studies show it, and we must stop it.
The more I’m involved with politics the more I realize our freedom in every aspect has been and still is at risk.
Think about all the times in history when a group of citizens have accused a government or a corporation of wrongdoing — when they marched the streets, rallied and protested — have the people ever turned out to be wrong? No.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Jefferson was right, and I’ll add, the price of freedom is eternal inconvenience.
When you’re called to join a movement or stand up for what is right, that calling comes with inconvenience and sacrifice. I don’t want look back 10 years from now with regret wishing I would have rescheduled that dentist appointment, wishing I would have missed that one game, wishing I would have sold those tickets, or wishing I would have just taken the kids with me to Olympia–all eight of them–rather than miss a critical hearing…. I want to look back and be proud that I stood on the front lines with those bold legislators to protect our freedom, our children’s freedom.
We’re not going to allow a little inconvenience to stop us…am I right?
Encourage each other and work together – we must have team work.
If you think you don’t have what it takes, if you avoid Black Friday like the Black Plague — know that you still can and must join this movement to defend and reclaim our freedom. Just join in your own way. It might be a little out of your comfort zone but Find what works for you, for your personality. Each and every one of you have a natural gift that is needed in the war to protect our freedoms. Use it! I look forward to seeing you in the halls of Olympia!