David Horowitz is a leading
consumer advocate. David’s
daughter Amanda Horowitz
is the CEO of Fight Back! and
Questions and answers of the
greatest interest to Costco
members will be used in this
column (with the permission
of the contributor) and will be
FIGHT BACK! GETS SOCIAL
What do you do to be a proactive consumer and effect
positive change in the world?
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Please note we are not licensed
professionals in any field. If you are
seeking advice you should consult
with your own licensed professional.
We do not assume any liability or
responsibility for the interpretation,
application or accuracy of any information provided.
such as scientific and academic studies or content
from publications that I know have solid journalistic
ethics. I read news articles and comments on social
media; watch videos, interviews and lectures; and
look for experts I can speak with who are engaged
in the topic on a daily basis. One source leads to
another, and the more I uncover, the more research
is required to validate information.
Stick to the facts
Make sure your sources are reputable. If you
are weak at research but your strength is presentation, play to your strength and team up with
someone who is a strong researcher. There is no one
right way to get it done.
Connect with others who share your views
There are so many organizations that focus on
different social, political and environmental issues.
Go to events, volunteer and take action. Fight Back!
does not endorse any particular online platform
for this. United We Serve (
Match.org and idealist (
idealist.org) can connect
you with causes and opportunities.
another resource you can use to start campaigns
and mobilize supporters. But make sure you do
your research before you start a campaign.
Change.org provides guidance and tips.
Engage with elected officials
Actively participate with elected officials on social media. Join the conversation. Find government agencies and
elected officials through
connect through email or calling.
Request a meeting with staff members
or elected officials. Speaking with staff
is a great opportunity to communicate
your concerns and inspire change. Stay
away from angry, defensive or accusatory statements; those get you nowhere
and can result in turning people away.
Connect with traditional media
Make a list of wire services, local print
media, local radio stations and local TV
stations you want to contact. You will need
to create a media kit: PETA (People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals) has a thorough explanation of working with the
working-media. You can get exposure for
your cause by writing a letter to the editor of
a newspaper or magazine as well.
I wish you all the best on your change
making! Be your own advocate and make a
positive impact. C
I’M PART OF a women’s issues group on Facebook.
Recently, a member of the group posted about an incident that involved a woman’s privacy being violated.
This woman was humiliated on social media by a
male personal trainer who took her photo at a gym
without her knowing. Unfortunately, these types of
online incidents at gyms are increasing.
Essentially, the question the group member posed
was: What should and can she do to take a stand?
Within moments, group members posted comments
and calls to action. People who had never met were
suddenly engaged in a cause and wanted to make a
Some women immediately contacted the trainer’s gym where the photo was taken. Others posted
warnings on the trainer’s Yelp and social media
business pages to voice their concern and expose the
behavior. And some members of the group
expressed a desire to be involved but didn’t know
where to start.
It’s an issue I see often in regard to protecting
consumers: not knowing where to begin to take
action on an injustice. There are different ways to
get involved in effecting change. I don’t claim to
have all the answers, because each situation is different. What I do have are some steps, tools and
resources you can use as a guide next time
you’re moved to take a stand for what you
Make a plan
Decide what you want to do and how you
want to do it. Create a mission statement that
you can use to describe your intentions to
others. A mission statement should be short,
easy to communicate and to the point.
Make sure to ask yourself questions like
these, and formulate clear answers:
• What result do I want to achieve,
and how do I want to achieve it?
• What people, places and resources
will it require to achieve this?
• Are there any associated costs? If so,
what are they? (Make a spreadsheet.)
• How do I plan to cover those costs?
• What is the specific deadline or timeline
Know the issues
Too many people jump to speak out
without knowing the issues. Don’t be one of
them. How do you learn how to locate, evaluate and use information effectively?
Everyone does it differently. When I
research a topic, I check keywords related to
the topic first for the most current information. From there I look for reputable sources,
Making an impact
How to champion a cause