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Texas Politics - Voting, Campaigns and Elections
Activists use Burma Shave advertising tactics. Activists use Burma Shave advertising tactics.
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9.4    Grassroots Rallies and Marches

The previous discussion focuses on candidate-centered and other well-funded campaigning. But citizens themselves can organize, seek endorsements, advertise, and hold meetings and marches to promote or oppose amendments to the Texas Constitution, local level referenda, or even specific candidates or causes.

To maximize their impact grassroots organizers try to carefully stage and script their own events, just as well-funded, candidate-centered campaigns do. The dynamics of organizing such events are discussed in the Texas Politics section on public demonstrations by interest groups.

Many of the tools and techniques used by well-funded campaigns are appropriated by grassroots organizers, though with smaller budgets on a smaller scale. The key difference usually is that grassroots organizations can rarely afford the closed and controlled environments that well-funded campaigns use for their events. Hotels, ballrooms, meeting rooms, convention centers, and private estates are less likely to be sites of grassroots events.

Another key difference is that well-funded campaigns generate credibility through the sheer power of finances. So, they have far less difficulty getting the media to cover their events, if media attention is what a group seeks. In contrast, grassroots groups often seek creative ways to both attract media attention and pump up the attendance of supporters.

Texas Politics:
© 2009, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services
University of Texas at Austin
3rd Edition - Revision 115
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