Taking on the ‘Big Guys’ – The Power of Persistence
Sorry my blog is late – I’m on another mission!
I’ve become the spokesperson for our strata community with regard to the impending installation of smart meters in our complex. Our meters are clustered in utility rooms attached to some homes – we have 5 meters attached to the other side of our living room wall and some of our residents have up to 12 meters in their utility rooms. With all the information suggesting there could be health concerns and as yet unknown issues with the cumulative effects of long-term exposure to smart meters, we are trying to fight this.
I share this because I believe it has implications for us all when there is an issue near and dear to our heart (in this case, literally!). Whether we are a parent with concerns for our child, a teacher concerned about changes to curriculum or administrative expectations, or a citizen with a complaint, it is so important to go through the proper steps to reach a satisfactory outcome. Here are a few suggestions I have to make that journey easier:
- do your research – have a good knowledge of both sides of the issue
- seek out allies – develop a support system with like-minded people who can help (just today I was talking with a neighbour and she gave me the name of an organization I was completely unaware of)
- talk to people – supervisors, experts in the field, friends (we’ve had numerous chit-chats out on the street and generated all sorts of good ideas)
- write letters – this is a great way to clarify your thoughts and document what you are doing
- document what you are doing!
- look for community supports – letters to the editor, local news stations, newspaper reporters, independent agencies (eg. the ombudsman), government departments
- ask for a face-to-face meeting – be well prepared and have your concerns listed. Address each one. (this made a huge difference when I brought a flawed bylaw to our City engineering department)
- be respectful – I believe there are two sides to most stories and, while we may disagree, we should listen
- be persistent – we’ve all heard of the ‘squeaky wheel’. The only time you truly lose is when you don’t try!
- be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
Not all will apply in every situation – use what you need, let me know if you have other ideas that work and good luck in your pursuits!
Now, back to those (not so) smart meters!