At a certain point in your campaign it will come time to meet with decision makers. This may be officials from your city or school district, or HOA board.
Regardless of whom it is that you meet with it's imperative that you present yourself as an ally, there to help find solutions, rather than someone who is simply critical of pesticide use without offering alternatives. Be sure to stay on topic during your meeting, and remember to stay politically neutral as well.
Being prepared is key. Leaving officials with printed materials from your group will help them remember you, and have something to reference. Our resources page can help you find documents to include in a packet, folder, or binder.
It is very important to understand that most decision makers know next to nothing about landscaping practices, and their employees or vendors will likely come back to them with the reasons they cannot change to organic methods. The staff or landscaping contractors have been trained for years by the chemical industry representatives, who have told them that the products they are using are “perfectly safe” and that there are no other viable or cost effective measures that can be employed. You will need to inform them that other cities and school districts have switched over successfully and that costs were kept in control. Include this information in your printed materials, along with alternatives, a cost comparison and studies looking at the public health and environmental risks from using toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
By being prepared, using credible information, and delivering it with a positive and professional attitude you will be able to make allies of officials and begin the process of switching to sustainable organic practices just like so many other communities have been doing.