Second Order Advocacy takes the tactics of First Order Advocacy and turns them into an Advocacy Operation. You can understand an Advocacy Operation as a coordinated web of FOA Tactics.
A System of Focus (SOF) has weak relationships with far more than just the legal/rights community that we typically use in a basic advocacy effort.
Remember that the basic tactic in advocacy is to disrupt a weak relationship. If your disruption is effective, the SOF still has to expend resources and time to rebalance it.
Some other kinds of weak processes to consider for disruption:
- Local elections that affect the funding of the SOF.
- Disrupting a part of the SOF that isn’t the focus of your advocacy (i.e., going after regular education disability discrimination when you are trying to change special education policy).
- Making more work for the boss of the point person you are advocating with.
- Getting your issue into the press.
- Forcing the SOF to follow “all the rules”. This works best if you segment the multiple complaints, so that they seem to pop up without notice.
- Filing complaints with multiple organizations, using related but different rights frameworks.
- Pressuring local officials or allies for help.
By combining various efforts to disrupt over a period of time, you can create an operational campaign. This is especially effective if you can overlap the threads of disruption so that individual threads don’t get resolved before a new thread develops.
Next Time: Third Order Advocacy-Community Organizing