Be it an individual citizen, advocacy group or someone working inside your local City Hall, it would seem that consistently turning advocacy into action, that is the taking of genuine interest and knowledge and converting it into measurable results, is a perpetually daunting process. So much so that many reserve themselves to staying involved only on the surface (donations and mixers), while others stay out of the game altogether. Often being discarded off hand as indifferent. It is my contention that not only do these people all care very much about being catalysts for progress in their respective communities but given the opportunity to be engaged, they would too get a great deal of satisfaction from the process that is identifying problems and participating in the road that is the building of viable solutions to the same.
I have found it most effective to leverage this advocacy in a mostly passive way and so I employ a mixture of technology and peer networking. One part ubiquitous technology in SMS (text messaging) and one part good old fashioned community outreach (signage and events). I engage the community at large and identify issues that may have market viable solutions in the context where they occur. So instead of scouring over polling and map data in a 35th floor conference room, people can tell me about problems in real time as they incur the pain caused by them. This on going effort is assisted in great part by those most fervent of advocates in each city. Those who engage in consistent communication and make introductions towards revealing lesser known problems that create significant pain points for a group of people.