Voices of various Maine Greens as presented in the Issue Brochures
by Tom Roberts (Dec-94)
PURPOSE OF ISSUE BROCHURES
The purpose of the Issue Brochure project is to produce and publish brochures for the Maine Greens explaining issues from the Green perspective for ourselves and for others.
Developing an Issue Brochure helps the Greens involved in producing it to think about presenting the subject matter in a concise, organized and politically adroit manner.
To the extent we mobilize already active Greens in the brochure development process, we build further connections among them.
Some group oversight of the brochure content is necessary. At the current time, a more sophisticated review process needs to be developed by which the brochures take on "official status" as "documents of the Maine Greens." This needs to be more than just a committee in charge of publications.
Whenever we ask the assistance of green thinking people (who do not designate themselves as "Maine Greens"), we develop links, alliances, and shared thinking with activists in other green-thinking groups. Thus developing the Issue Brochures becomes a tool for the organizing of other activists.
Involving activists from the Maine Greens and others builds their "ownership" of the brochures, so they don't become irrelevant and unused documents.
The information developed about which people have expertise and interest in what areas becomes a valuable database addition for later use.
HAVING AND USING THE ISSUE BROCHURES
The Issue Brochures tell the public quickly and succinctly what our positions are on various issues.
They help us understand various issues. Greens who are not familiar with a particular issue can get an introduction to that issue by reading what other Greens have to say about it.
Brochures help our public image showing that we do have an organized approach to solutions. They have a uniform look and layout to them, and each can be recognized as part of a whole philosophy.
Issue brochures, because of their non-electoral emphasis, may find their way into distribution sites which would not accept electoral literature. This points out the Education and Direct Action parts of the Maine Greens Triad, and should help everyone (including ourselves) to clearly understand the differences.
The issue brochures buttress any candidates or referenda the Greens support by providing backround information about our issues, while at the same time transcending election day and demonstrating that our stands are not just window dressing for an election.
We could offer the brochures for sale in bulk (25 of any brochure) or as a kit (one of each) in our own publications or other statewide or local publications, and even to other State Green parties.
We could encourage other organizations to use our brochures for their own activities.
TYPES OF ISSUE BROCHURES
Issue brochures are a tool with many uses. They are used to tell the story of the Greens in various ways. They can state our definition of the problems using a "radical view" that goes to the root of the problem.
Brochures communicate what issues we consider to be important (as opposed to the image-making "TV issues"). Brochures may also propose potential solutions and/or describe actual solutions.
Dozens of brochures can be made; if we had the human resources to do the writing, we could produce a hundred or more different brochures.
Every time we want to say something to the public, we should ask ourselves "Would a brochure about that subject be appropriate?" If "yes", then we should ask "Who will write it?"
The issue brochure format can be used to reprint especially good articles that appear in various journals in order to "immortalize" them.
The question of using the "Issue Brochure" format to state what our candidates virtues are would probably be self-defeating to the concept of retaining a non-electoral stance in the brochure series. Hence other clearly discernible formats should be used for clearly electoral purposes.
The issue brochure format could be used for very local issues; our ability to produce them, for example, could be offered to a NIMBY group in its fight against a dump.
They are cheap to produce (5-10¢ ea), one page tri-folded, can be produced in small quantities, and can be easily revised and updated. The brochure format can be reproduced in desktop publishing programs on various types of computers, allowing decentralized production of masters. A brochure can be put together in a matter of hours if need be.
All that is needed is someone or some group to pull together the text needed to fill out the brochure. Thus they can be used in rapidly developing situations.
LOOKING FOR BROCHURE DEVELOPERS
Text production methods:
Write one yourself from scratch, or Collaborate with a group of people to write the material, or Collect information from various people and printed sources and put one together.
ORGANIZATION OF THE BROCHURE
A title or subject; One to two typewritten pages (500-1,000 words) of text on that subject written from a Green perspective; An organization of the material into logical sections whose headings can be put on the front cover.
CONTENT REVIEW PROCESS
Before going into print, the text gets passed around to various people who are knowledgeable about or interested in the subject, for their comments and suggestions.
We are also looking for people to do proofreading and editing.
If YOU would be interested in working with other Greens to develop an Issue Brochure, please talk to Tom Roberts at any meeting or write to him care of the Green Party Office.
Any comments will be appreciated.