Jim and Jen Slotterback had only 11 days to save their favorite park from gas drilling—and they succeeded. People in cities and towns all around the country are finding a way to protect the things they love from fracking. You can too. Here's how:
1. Learn The Lay Of The Land.
Jen Slotterback noticed gas drilling survey markers during a visit to a local park.
Is fracking coming to a shale deposit near you? Find out by visiting a map of active and potential fracking areas. If it’s already in your area, find out exactly where through WellWatch, a resource about companies and wells in operation throughout the United States.
2. Figure Out What's At Stake.
Jen and her husband Jim had many treasured memories at Rider Park and decided they couldn't bear to see it destroyed.
What are you willing to fight for and what are the most pressing threats to it? Is it your city's drinking water supply? Your local air quality? A special place? A clean energy future?
3. Target Decision-Makers You Can Influence.
The Slotterbacks did some digging and found out the First Community Foundation had the power to decide what would happen to the park. The foundation had a public reputation that they weren't eager to tarnish.
Find out who can give you what you want and figure out how you will make them give it to you. Maybe it's your city councilmember or Member of Congress who is worried about re-election and will help pass a local ordinance or federal law.
4. Forge Alliances.
If you care enough to fight for something, chances are someone else does too.
5. Demonstrate Public Support.
Oil and gas companies have a lot of money. We've got people power. Show your strength by showing your numbers.
You can organize people with a petition, like the Slotterbacks did. Or gather supporters together at a public action. Whatever you do, make sure the decision-makers you are targeting can't ignore your numbers.
6. Get The Word Out.
In the age of information, you have a lot of options.
Build public support by blasting out an email, starting a website, posting on Facebook. You can also take your message to the traditional media with a letter to the editor published in the local newspaper (tips at "Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling"), or a story aired on your local television station (tips at "Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling").
7. Take Time To Celebrate.
Taking on powerful interests isn't easy.
Make time to celebrate victories—or even milestones along the way to a victory—with the people who helped make it possible.