Action Center Home State Legislation Announcements About
Forming Coalitions
June 30, 2022 by BoatUS Government Affairs Team

There is strength in numbers. Consider aligning your organization (yacht club, sailing association, fishing group, etc…) with other like-minded groups to form a coalition as lawmakers are more likely to listen to an organization representing 100 constituents with a consistent message than a single individual.

Is it solely a boating issue or is it part of a broader topic such as zoning, conservation, public access, general taxation? Bring various groups or individuals under "one umbrella." Uniting around a common, broad-based goal, (e.g., "protecting public access to Big Bay" or "continued funding for state boating programs") or engaging in joint activities (shore clean-up, marsh grass planting) are great ways to form coalitions.

Find Your Allies

Who are likely allies? Who else has a stake in your issue? (Marina operators, boat dealerships, retailers, yacht clubs, service organizations, US Power Squadrons or USCG Auxiliary, state marine trade associations, chambers of commerce)

Bring them together: Host an event to get likely allies talking with each other.

The internet has made this a lot easier (search Web sites, news articles, discussion boards, e-mail list serves); post a query on one of the BoatUS.com message boards.

State marine trade associations, state boating agencies may know of organizations likely to join your cause.

Establish the Coalition

Pick a name that is short but descriptive of the group. Select officers, if necessary and especially a "point person" who will handle communications among coalition members, such as group e-mail.

Stay Focused

Coalition representatives should meet on some sort of regular basis (monthly, quarterly) to keep lines of communication open, should a crisis arise.

Consider periodic joint events to keep your coalition active (fund-raisers, work days, public education events, letter-writing campaigns)

Review coalition goals periodically; revise as new conditions arise (changes in state and local government, coalition member organizations added, new issues/threats develop)

Be willing to evolve; the issues that brought groups together may change or be resolved; don't worry – the next issue is probably right around the corner!

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