Campaign to End BSL: Operation Denver
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of this campaign, I have to say a huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to you, to all of you, for your insights, ideas, and encouragement. Thanks to everyone who commented, emailed, tweeted, and Facebooked, I was able to refine this campaign to the point where I’m confident that our voices will be heard in Denver!
Because this is going to be the mother of all blog posts, I’ve broken it up into a few different sections. After today, these details will live under the Campaign to End BSL: Operation Denver tab above. That tab will also house the link library for all the posts that are submitted to me – and I’m so, so excited that so many bloggers I admire are jumping in to tackle this issue. If you don’t want to cover BSL on your blog, please feel free to share the link love or tweet with the official hashtag, #endBSL!
One quick note: I want this campaign to be a collaboration, and in that vein, I promise to keep everything completely open and transparent. Any steps I take will be covered here, including full text of any letters and emails sent, as well as costs and fund-raising goals.
So here we go!
The objective of Operation Denver is to collect one mile of postcards that will be delivered directly to the Mile High City’s mayor, John W. Hickenlooper. Though the state prohibits municipalities from passing BSL, Denver’s breed ban was sort of grandfathered in, so we’re targeting the city itself.
To meet USPS’ regulations for the cheapest postcard, they have to be 4 x 6″ which means we need to collect 10,560 postcards for them to stretch one mile, end to end! And I know we can do it!
I created a simple template in Microsoft Word with text boxes aligned to meet the post office’s regulations. These postcards can be customized any way you’d like! Get creative! Use images, clip art, text boxes, fonts and colors. If you prefer to use another program (or even make one by hand!), please feel free as long as the measurements adhere to the regulations.
Postcard template in Microsoft Word: Postcard Template
Here’s the postcard I made: Emmett Postcard. Feel free to download the postcard I made and tweak it if that’s easier!
If you don’t have images to use, use images from the Flickr Creative Commons. The images located HERE only require that you credit the photographer, which you can do with a small text box. HERE is another set designated for noncommercial use, though they still require attribution to the photographer. And, lastly, HERE is a set through Google images, which are all allowed to be reused and modified, though some specify that the photographer must be cited.
We want Denver city officials to know that we’re real people – not just a mass-printed mailing. So please write a heartfelt message to the mayor. Include facts, stats, stories, anecdotes, or even just a simple, “Please repeal Denver’s breed ban.” For solid stats, reference StopBSL, Pit Bull Rescue Central, or Understand-a-Bull. This is a particularly useful fact sheet.
The Cost and Fund-raising Efforts
I set up a PayPal Donation button. All donations will offset printing and mailing costs. It’s going to cost roughly $0.235 per piece. If funds exceeding the final cost are collected, they will be donated to a Colorado bully rescue. I’m researching organizations now, but if anyone has any nominations, please let me know either via comment or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, I received a fantastic suggestion to create a CafePress store because 10% of all sales would contribute to our efforts. I’m all for this, though if there are any designers out there who want to brainstorm on a logo and slogan, please, please email me!
Social Media and Media Campaign
The official hashtag for this campaign is #endBSL. Use it liberally! Several people wisely suggested choosing a day for blogs and tweets. I commit to writing and tweeting and Facebooking about BSL every Tuesday between now and BlogPaws! I’ve made Tuesday my official campaign day, and I would love for you to join in. I would LOVE to organize a monthly tweetup to occur between now and BlogPaws. I’ve never done that before – any ideas, suggestions, tips, volunteers?
In addition to the Tuesday social media push, I’m going to be writing letters to every organization and personality who might be interested in the cause. I’ll post the letters I write on Tuesdays. So far my list includes: the bully orgs mentioned above, Rescue Ink, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Pinups for Pit Bulls, Victoria Stilwell, Oprah, Ellen, Rachel Ray (a bully owner!), and The Today Show. I also want to reach out to shelters and rescues in and around the Denver area. Please feel free to comment or email with other suggestions!
And, lastly, I’m going to put together press releases to go out to the Denver media. I think we can get a lot of local attention for a mile-long stretch of postcards heading to the mayor’s office!
PHEW! I think that’s it! Every Tuesday I’ll post updates – letters, postcards, fund-raising, anything and everything to do with this campaign. Every Tuesday I’ll tweet with the #endBSL tag and post Facebook status updates. Want to help organize a tweetup? Design a t-shirt logo for the Cafe Press store? Any other ideas or volunteers? Send me an email!
Fire up your networks, everyone! 1 down, 10,559 postcards to go!