Learn How to Change Our World

 

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What You’ll Learn to Become an Active Citizen

You don’t have to be a Marvel comic book superhero to change the world. You don’t even have to be a saint, a revolutionary, a political leader, or a community organizer. You just have to be aware of your surroundings and of the opportunities to improve your life and those of others.

Certainly if you are driven to improve the world, this book should help you evaluate various strategies and tactics to employ. I reference what I’ve learned from my experience and that of others. It will hopefully help you go from wanting change to initiating change. The lessons that follow should help you minimize the risk of failure and maximize success in taking on that effort.

However, the theme here is that every citizen should have the power to meaningfully participate in a democracy. Too often citizens defer to politicians, as if they are the only ones who should exercise power. You don’t need to start a movement to challenge the status quo, but you do have the power to question it.

Ultimately, change begins with you. You have to help yourself create your own future. If you don’t, someone else will.

Changemakers Love the Book

“Nick Licata is a treasure. In Becoming a Citizen Activist he shares the wisdom he has acquired through five decades of struggle to make the world a better place. Rich with uncanny insight, and the right combination of realism and optimism, Licata has produced a book that should be mandatory reading for those seeking justice in this world. He shows that we can hold the power to make social change in our hands, if we use it and use it effectively.”


Robert W. McChesney, co-author People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy

Becoming a Citizen Activist is a timely antidote to our poisoned democracy. At a time when corporations are treated as supercitizens while most individuals think of themselves only as taxpayers, Licata shares inspiring stories about the power of people and valuable advice for taking back our government.”


Jim Diers, author of Neighbor Power

“Becoming a Citizen Activist is a wonderful compilation of specific anecdotes of successful social justice struggles led by ordinary people, practical tips for fighting for your cause, and compelling insights into power, politics and the medley of strategies that make change happen. No matter who you are, you’ll finish the book and be inspired to head straight out to better your community and our world.”


Pramila Jayapal, Washington State Senator and founder and former Executive Director of OneAmerica.

“Nick Licata’s book shows how ordinary citizens can find their voices to actually change policy – and how elected leaders can help them create these changes. It’s very valuable guide for anyone working in their communities.”


Paul Loeb, author Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While

“Nick Licata has delivered a powerful book about becoming a citizen activist. As someone who spent most of my adult life in elected office, it is refreshing to see someone from the ‘inside’ opening the playbook for those seeking civic change and social justice. Too many times we want the home run, when getting solid hits is the most effective way of enacting change. Nick has been extremely effective over his career by building coalitions and doing the background work that produces results. Sharing his wisdom is not likely to win friends within the halls of government, but I think it will help balance the scale for those working in the trenches.”


Jim Hunt, former president of the National League of Cities and founder of Amazing Cities

“Nick Licata is a rare combination of things: a thinker who knows grassroots activism, an idealist who can pragmatically wield power, and a politician who knows how to change culture. His compact book distills a career of great citizenship into simple lessons and memorable stories. I hope it inspires a new generation to become activists, in and out of office.”


Eric Liu, founder and CEO of Citizen University

“Nick Licata has been a critical and creative force in the movement of municipalities to lead on progressive public policy change. With this book, he offers an essential resource for citizens working to confront injustice. Licata draws on local struggles and personal anecdotes to illustrate the power of individuals to achieve progressive victories. His book provides practical strategies and tactics to mobilize the public and hold politicians accountable to the communities they represent. This is an important contribution to grassroots efforts to build a dynamic, and fair, democracy.”


Andrew Friedman – Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Popular Democracy

“Becoming a Citizen Activist provides inspiration and nuggets of practical advice for anyone who wants to fight city hall and build a better world.”


Wendy Wendlandt, Political Director, The Public Interest Network and Chair of the board, WashPIRG, the Washington Public Interest Research Group

“Nick Licata knows that democracy isn’t a spectator sport and that the voices of real people are needed to build the best nation possible. Through stories of successful campaigns, practical tips, and the sharing of hard won lessons, Becoming A Citizen Activist guides the reader in how they can be a part of making democracy work for everyone. An inspiring, must-read book for anyone who has ever dreamed of a better world.”


Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Founder and Executive Director of MomsRising

Barbara Moore
“Nick Licata’s new book, Becoming a Citizen Activist – Stories, Strategies and Advice on how to Change Our World, brings a new perspective to the category of activism books.  As both an activist and an elected official, Nick shares lessons learned and best practices.  His essays on listening, learning, and then taking action are well worth reading, and enjoyable to boot!  Too often, inexperienced activists start with the action that should have been the last resort, leaving them no place to go if they don’t achieve success, and often alienating potential allies in the process.  Nick shows us how to start smart, to build allies, to listen to the other parties, and to ultimately effect positive change in our world.  As a leader who has lobbied and been lobbied, he knows what works, and what fails.  Nick Licata is a true progressive success story.  He is national leader, a local icon, and highly successful citizen activist.”


Barbara Moore, Ex. Director of the National Municipal Democrats Organization

What the Critics Are Saying

“Becoming a Citizen Activist” includes advice on protests as well, by comparing the Occupy movement to the Tea Party movement. It carefully analyzes what made the Occupy movement fizzle out and what made the Tea Party movement solidify in Congress. As it turns out, activists can learn from both movements in order to strengthen their own.

– The Epoch Times

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Nick Licata

A Little Bit About Nick

Nick Licata is from a working class family, where neither parent graduated from high school. Licata, who couldn’t read until the age of nine, was the first of his relatives to attend college.

He led the local chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at Bowling Green State University and subsequently was elected student body president. He became a Seattle City Councilmember despite being significantly outspent, with the majority of the council, the mayor, and both daily newspapers supporting his opponent. He was elected to five terms to the council and became its president.

In 2012 he was named by The Nation as Progressive Municipal Official of the Year and twice named Best Local Politician by the Seattle Weekly.  He was an acknowledged leader in passing Paid Sick & Safe Leave, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and legalizing marijuana.

He initiated the founding of Local Progress; the national municipal policy network and served as its first chairman. In 2003, Licata authored the children’s novel, “Princess Bianca and the Vandals”.

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