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The Power of a Coalition, Libbie Sonnier

The Power of a Coalition, Libbie Sonnier

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children

A strong coalition is the most potent asset advocates can have when implementing an appropriations campaign. In a strong coalition, each organization brings something unique to the table to collectively power the movement. For example, we provide our Ready Louisiana coalition with research and communications support (writing, predominantly). This helps us develop message discipline. We’re not just “singing from the same songbook,” we’re collectively singing from the same page and same line of that songbook. We’re able to stay focused on doing what it takes to secure victories for children and our families. Sometimes, that means repeating the same talking point relentlessly so that eventually, it comes so naturally to lawmakers that they think it was their idea in the first place. That’s a victory because it gets us one step closer to our goals.

While we provide research and communications guidance, other coalition partners are grassroots organizations with memberships that can be activated by a single text — something we saw in real-time when dozens of advocates raced to the capitol building to push back against a $52 million dollar funding cut. We all have a shared understanding of what’s important and how we need to act in unison to support children and families in this state. Successful campaigns require the ability to act nimbly by sending journalists a last-minute media alert, taking out a full-page ad in the paper, or moving in lockstep with your trusted partners when they call for an activation. At this point, our coalition is powerful enough that we can and do leverage significant pressure. You can’t mess with young children in this state without expecting some serious pushback.

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