[Note, you can download a PDF version of this agreement here.– The PDF may look blotchy on-screen, but it prints fine.]
Since the following are the skills, knowledge and habits that we would like every American voter to have, we are leading the way by learning and practicing them ourselves. If you sincerely believe more or less effort is needed, please feel free to amend this agreement. Our vision is a renewed electorate within one decade, by 2022. [If you would like encouraging support phone calls □, or emails □, please check the box.]
1. I will register to vote if I haven’t. [A link on this is at PTTN.org/Politicalinfo page.]
2. I will vote in as many elections as I can.
3. I will begin to take in quality political news from at least three different points on the political spectrum for at least 60-90 minutes a week. I will make this a habit by picking stimulating and enjoyable but high-quality news sources. (Many news websites can be found on our Political Info webpage at PTTN.org.)
4. I will refresh my knowledge or re-learn the basics of the political process, if I’ve forgotten the basics, or never learned them. (We have a Politics for Power course that teaches the basics at the website.) I will attempt to pass the online PTTN Politics for Power quizzes to prove that I have mastered the basics.
5. I will learn or review the basics of critical thinking. (For instance, learning the way to analyze an argument, and the way to spot distortion and deception techniques, such as logical fallacies and emotionally manipulative imagery.] I will attempt to pass the online PTTN Critical Thinking Quizzes. I will apply critical thinking skills to the news that I take in each week.
6. Before each election, I will make a systematic effort to spend 1-2 hours to study the candidates and the issues. [(One PTTN strategy is to invite a few family or friends to an informal “Party and Study” event. This just means having some food and drinks, and discussing and reviewing candidates together. Besides making it something of a pre-election tradition and habit, another advantage of the Party and Study event is that it can pave the way for inviting others to become PTTN participants.)
7. If I haven’t already plugged into some advocacy groups that match my key interests and values, I will do so, in order to get timely email action updates that will remind me to do advocacy. (The great majority of advocacy groups will put you on their list for free.)
8. I agree to do at least two hours of advocacy a month on issues important to me. When my representatives are on recess, I will spend the time doing background study on issues.
9. As part of my two hours a month, I will do some advocacy on at least one structural issue. (Structural issues affect the efficiency of the political process itself. Two examples are campaign finance reform and assuring that voting machine results cannot be corrupted. If people don’t spend some time on structural issues, it’s likely the political process will remain inefficient and be wasteful of our tax money.)
10. To help the program grow, I will make a membership contribution. (We are asking $25/yr. If need be, you can give it in installments.)
11. Once I have established these new political habits (regular quality news intake, regular advocacy, and critical thinking)—and assuming I find my PTTN involvement worthwhile—I will make a concerted effort to invite and support at least two people to become members. (In other words, if you don’t think that your involvement has made a significant difference, then you can consider this agreement non-binding.) I will attempt to invite these two or more people as soon as possible, knowing that if the amount of participation doubles every six months, we will reach 51% of the electorate within one decade. (Thus your participation may help produce a turning point in American history: a regularly informed, critically-thinking and active American electorate!)
12. Twice a year, I will respond to a survey by email regarding my level of participation. I know that if I am a serious participant that the information I give, combined with that of others, will help inspire people to participate.
13. I will read the PTTN Strategy Document (or watch the PTTN Strategy videos when they become available) to learn of the more than 40 high-leverage strategies we have to help create an upgraded American electorate. (This will help you feel confident that your participation will make a real difference!)
14. Knowing that negativity and personal attacks can do great harm, I will refrain from personal attacks and name-calling on the Internet and in person. I will also emphasize and celebrate the things that we all got right, and the blessings we Americans have, as I work to increase our mutual quality of life, and the effectiveness of the political process.