Tell policymakers you care about broadband: Social Media Advocacy

Remember the Minnesota Broadband Vision – developed at the Minnesota Broadband Conference in 2015?

Broadband Vision: Everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe.

That vision helped carry momentum that led to $35 million investment from the Legislature in broadband grants. It’s a good step – but more is needed. I’ve been heartened to see that Legislators are talking about broadband. I’ve been discouraged to hear that many do not think broadband is a priority for the 2017 legislature – despite the fact that the Minnesota Broadband Task Force has recommended $50 million in annual ongoing funds.

Based on comments from the “I Endorse the Minnesota Broadband Vision” Facebook page and comments at meetings around the state, there are citizens who still think it’s a priority. So how to get that message to policymakers?

Taking a page from A Citizen’s Guide to Effectively Engaging Minnesota Lawmakers, I thought we could start some early, easy advocacy by letting our faces and message be seen – like the examples below.

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  1. Write down your message (use the template or make your own)
  2. Take a picture of you with your message
  3. Post on social media (Not on social media? Send it to me and I will post atreacy@treacyinfo.com)
    1. When you post – please use the #mnbroadband hashtag and/or on Facebook tag @mnbroadbandvision
    2. Please also tag policymakers – that way they will get flagged to see it (policymaker tags provided below)
  4. You are also welcome to email, mail or hand-deliver the picture to your legislators! Let us know if you do that!
  5. I will plan to compile the pictures I see for a future post. It would be great to get a wave going now while legislators are just settling in.

Who to tag?

Find out who represents you  and which legislators are on the broadband committees (@PatGarofalo and @jeremyrmiller are chair the committees). See if they are using social media – if so tag them. There’s a good list of Minnesota Legislators’ Twitter accounts. For Facebook, Instagram and other channels you will have to look to find them and tag or post on their timelines.

What to say?

You won’t have much space – but try to be specific. Here are some examples to get you going…

  • Broadband allows me to work from home.
  • Broadband is too slow to do homework.
  • Broadband would allow me to e-visit doctors.
  • Broadband so bad no one will buy my house.
  • Broadband helps me sell on eBay.
This entry was posted in MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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