To Move a Bureaucracy

1. You must stop feeling guilty and insignificant.

2. You must stop apologizing for asking a bureaucrat to do a job you are paying for with your taxes.

3. You must stop begging for what you are entitled to by law.

4. You must not be patient. No matter how often you are told to please be patient (“We are doing everything we can.”), remember that patience has never moved a bureaucracy. Only impatience has ever made a bureaucracy move.

5. You must not accept those old excuses: “There isn’t any money.” “We need more time.” “We’ve made a lot of progress,” etc.

a. There is never going to be any money unless you demand it. What your tax dollars are spent for depends on what taxpayers demand and how loudly and persistently they demand it.

b. Be miserly with the time you give a bureaucracy to get a job done. It is a natural law of bureaucracies that the more time you give them, the more time they will take–and often still not get the job done.

c. If there is still a single child left without a permanent family, “progress” is not good enough.

6. You must stop whispering while everyone else is shouting. Your voice will be lost in someone else’s uproar. You can win battles, no matter how small your parent advocacy group, if you make enough noise.

7. You must not be afraid to offend bureaucrats…. Your child’s welfare should be your primary motivating force, not the welfare of bureaucrats.

Source: “How to Organize an Effective Parent/Advocacy Group and Move Bureaucracies.” by Charlotte Des Jardins, Executive Director, Family Resource Center on Disabilities, Chicago, IL

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