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We had the concept. Now we needed a way to give it life. WAJF came through with a grant to fund the project. tcn would develop and direct it.

We got right down to business. Our first order: define the qualities of a good Circuit Rider. We didn't want a pocket-protector computer geek. No one who saw the world only in bits and bytes. Instead, we looked for someone who understood politics and the political process. Someone who'd be as comfortable in the halls of Congress as in the innards of a software program. A communicator. An eager talker, but a more eager listener. Instead of a techno-brain or an environmental policy wonk, we sought someone who could bridge the two disciplines.

Our choice had a little bit of experience in many different areas. In college, he had managed a computer network of both Macintosh and DOS computers. Upon graduation, he worked first as a legislative aide for a U.S. Senator and then for a national trade association of cooperatives. So he understood public policy and technology. Best of all, he liked to solve problems.

Still, even after we hired the Circuit Rider, we didn't put him on the next plane out of town. We plotted a strategy. We had limited time and we had to spend it wisely.


"Target groupó65 advocates at over 50 organizations."

To focus the efforts of the Circuit Rider, WAJF produced an ambitious target list. Some 65 advocates at over 50 different organizations.

To connect those 65 people, tcn immediately built a listserv, an e-mail mailing list that would let any list subscriber contact every member of the list. By sending one message to a single address, they'd reach the whole listserv population.

One benefit of a listserv is your control of its membership. Only friends of the LEV-ZEV mandates had access. But listserv's strong suit is its simplicity. It's easy to use, so people use it. Advocates could share news summaries, press releases, reports, political updates any important information with the touch of a button. And eventually they did.

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