OPEN 20/20: “Our Policy Education Network”

OPEN 20/20: “Our Policy Education Network 20/20” seeks to create a consortium of 20 carefully selected grassroots trendsetters in 20 carefully selected areas around the state of Georgia. 

The definition of consortium sounds perfect- “a consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal.

Background: For decades, we have watched our community’s interests in public policy and voting wane inexplicably.  The very people who are impacted by public policy don’t vote and aren’t vocal.  Political parties, candidates and the establishment are reluctant to address these concerns with a fresh approach because they don’t have “standing” in the community.  However, there are members of the community with establishment experience and earned credibility.

Background: During the last few election seasons, Democrats in Republican congressional districts were flat ignored.  This fact is troubling because a little effort and resources to engage them could have produced a better turnout if not the margin of victory.

Problem: Some people familiar with politics and policy are dumfounded that candidates and parties seek to engage our community a few months before an election.  The engagement doesn’t feel like a discussion of issues but more like “we are here to tell you what is important to you.”

Solution: OPEN 20/20 insists that the cultivation of our community is constantly ongoing; a cultivation of the grassroots nourished by some of the funding tossed into ad buys. Actually, we want to create a network that is a platform for whoever are candidates in the future.  20 people in 20 communities who can use their existing networks to push the discussion on social media and who can fill ventures.

Socialize With a Purpose:  Honestly, rural areas need more positive socialization.  OPEN 20/20 seeks capitalize on this cultural fact.  From a lunch to a dinner to a grown folks music reception, we seek to entice trendsetters out, present our purpose and build an outstanding network.

Advisory Council: A small group of grassroots, governmental or policy professionals who add expertise and credibility to OPEN 20/20.  The A.C. would include former actors in the political policy arena who can’t believe how off track politics and policy are.  Of course, members of the A.C. might benefit from a stronger political presents in our community.

20 Area Trendsetters: Every community has people who “move the crowd” and/or non-traditional community leaders.  Of course, traditional policy and advocacy efforts operate with the assistance of traditional leaders and best wishes to them.  We seek to resourcefully solicit the support of leaders who might not know their influence potential.

Platform: If OPEN 20/20 is a cyber and actual educational platform, it needs to be edgy and direct in a way the establishment can’t be.  Like the political stumps of old, everyone might not agree with every angle or approach. However, a political party is strongest when a range of groups come together for understanding and consensus.

Sensible Center: Southern moderates/centrists feel ignored by both major parties but we know that most disenchanted citizens fall into our range on the political spectrum.  OPEN 20/20 founders have been working on this concept for over a decade and actually have elements of reasonable conservatism.

Educational Component:  When this operation is up and successful, those involved should be primary research sources for political parties, candidates and interest groups. The ultimate goal isn’t political power but improving our community through public policy.  Toward that end, OPEN 20/20 seeks to have a robust discussion about the role of government.


Albany, Americus, Thomasville, Valdosta, Bainbridge, Tifton, Cordele, Moultrie, Columbus.

Macon, Warner Robins/Perry, Fort Valley, Milledgeville, Dublin.

Waycross, Brunswick, Hinesville, Statesboro, Vidalia, Savannah.

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Researching the Trendsetters

Summary: The backbone of OPEN 20/20 would be the networking in our community of 20 people in 20 south Georgia cities that are networking experts.  Of course, we know about and support the traditional network of elected officials and community leaders; traditional methods will continue.  But, we seek to cultivate the trendsetters who don’t realize their networking skills and importance.  Ultimately, our educational operation might be use to bring energized, informed crowds to traditional rallies.

Resourcefulness: If a person in the community has an existing network, we simply seek to employ them to use it for the community education and improvement.

Benefit: We shouldn’t forget that the trendsetter is also networking in the public policy arena with us and those new connections can be beneficial to them.  Because community improvement is more than just voting, OPEN 20/20 plans to encourage growth politically, socially, economically and culturally year round because an interesting element is currently driving the youths’mindset.

Edge: OPEN 20/20 is not and should not be for everyone.  Over the last few decades, a softness has developed when discussing public policy.  The kitchen table issues and real world problems facing this state and nation requires frank and edgy discussions—make it plain.  To be honest, the traditional establishment groups can’t be involved in this type of straight talk because it might be somewhat “innovative and direct.”  However, we feel the public is hungry for options like ours.

We aren’t saying our approach instead of traditional methods.  We are saying us in addition to other methods—reach them one way or another.

Method: OPEN 20/20 seeks to listen to the pulse of the 20 cities after asking the questions:

Who moves the crowd in our community?

Who is a social media monster?

A positive party isn’t complete locally without whom?

When drama happens with the government, who is voice of reason and leadership?

Which 20 somethings with positive energy do others follow?

Who is the unofficial leader of that area of town?

Frankly, who is “community play” dad, momma, aunt and uncle?

Who has epic old school parties and cookouts?

Whose funeral would be too big for any church?

Examples of community influence:

Barber/Hair Stylist

Youth Pastor/Choir Director

Funeral home worker

Little League Coach

Retired Coach

PTA Leader


Popular Employee at local plants

Community volunteer

Popular Police Officer

Returning Vet

Beloved young teacher

Best D.J.

Paid Party Thrower

Most Popular Food Store Employees

Class Reunion Organizer

Former H.S. Ball Stars

Member of the biggest family

Local Café/Pub Owner


Who can move the crowd?

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OPEN 20/20: Goals, Objectives and Tactics

The initial outline for the OPEN 20/20 Network follows basic Business School concepts.   NFL Great Herm Edwards said “A goal without a plan is a wish.  What’s your plan? It’s on you, because you have to do all the work.”

Goal: A broad primary outcome.

Strategy: The approach you take to achieve a goal.

Objective: A measurable step you take to achieve a strategy.

Tactic: A tool used in pursing an objective associated with a strategy.

The blueprint for OPEN 20/20 is:

Goal: To increase rural Georgia citizens’ policy and issues education; to increasing voter turnout and to improve quality of life through better government.

Strategy: To cultivate a network of 20 non-traditional community leaders in 20 cities; to use the network to encourage smart voting; to test policy/issues approaches (feedback) in the cities; to utilize the network to bring voters out to campaign season forums and events; to have the network leaders influence radiate into most segment of the targeted areas.

Objective: To produce 2008 voter turnout results in the 20 communities every election season; to reach 70% of the 2008 voter turnout during early voting; to have the 20 leaders in place in small forums and to use them to have 100 voters in bigger forums.   Ideally, the 20 leaders would have 20 people in their spheres of influence and would receive compensation for having them at events.

Tactics: Use social events to encourage participation (party with a purpose); employ social media to build and connect the network as a two-way conduit; to use the network as a proving ground for candidates and as a “farm team” for future leaders.


Phase 1: Secure seed funding to identify the 20 leaders in 20 areas and have small receptions with them.

Phase 2: Secure larger funding based on Phase 1 to encourage attentive attendance at political forums and hosting our own early voting events in 2018.

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