Good Neighbor Campaigns

‘Good neighbors’ spark change through Action

CINCINNATI — “Since its inception more than 35 years ago, Ohio Citizen Action has made an intentional effort to prevent pollution in Ohio by practicing what it calls ‘door-to-door democracy.’

‘Everyday representatives of the organization are knocking on doors and talking to real people,’ says Brewster Rhoads, former director of the Cincinnati office. ‘It doesn’t take long to get feedback when a message isn’t clicking, which is a great reality check.’

Within the last 15 years, OCA has evolved into a multifaceted non-profit and non-political organization that utilizes good neighbor campaigns. Through deliberate and strategic community organizing, OCA uses the power of persuasion to transform pollution regulations, standards and practices to be more palatable for concerned citizens.

OCA does not act on its own. Each and every good neighbor campaign is the result of community members reaching out for help and consultation.”

…OCA’s scope and sphere of influence are vast; with more than 80,000 members it has been able to influence actions in industry, as well as in government on both the state and federal levels.

“OCA has developed an independent member base, which means they don’t have to depend on the whims of others,” says Rhoads. “This gives them independence because they are not financially married to a small number of donors and that’s the sweet spot. They have 80,000 individuals at any given time as their base; it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

Since OCA’s birth, the development of their website has been a key means of communication that now is visited by 15,000 individuals per month.  Since good neighbor campaigns are often viewed as having a limited interest, the internet has provides a means for OCA to reach out to the media, the public and even companies.”

— Sara Maratta, Soapbox Cincinnati

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