How to Use Action Tools for Evaluating Elected Officials on Taxes

Trying to figure out how much an elected official's proposals fit with your values can be challenging. That's why we developed a valuable action tool to help you evaluate the fairness of tax proposals.

The Action Tool contains key progressive tax principles and sample questions to use when researching candidates' positions and for asking candidates directly. Using the Action Tool could influence elected officials' positions and increase public support for fair taxation.

There are many uses of the Action Tool, including the following for individuals and organizations:

Uses for Individuals

  • Use the principles and questions to evaluate and form opinions about elected officials' tax proposals based on your values.
  • Share the Action Tool itself and/or your opinions about the elected officials' proposals with friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and spark a discussion.
  • If you're a member of an organization or club (community, religious, social, political, etc.) share the tool with the members.
  • Ask elected officials the questions from the tool at town hall meetings, public appearances, or other places you meet elected officials face-to-face. Doing this can help shape the officials' positions.
  • Ask elected officials the questions from this tool during the call-in time of a radio talk show on which an elected officials is making a guest appearance. Doing this can help shape their positions.
  • Use the questions as the basis for a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. If the letter is published, send a copy to the elected official.
  • Use the questions as the basis for a blog topic or an on-line comment responding to a news story.
  • Post the Action Tool to your personal website or social networking site.

Uses for Organizations

This Action Tool can be an important part of education and civic engagement efforts by nonprofit (501c3) organizations
  • Bring staff, board members, or supporters of your organization together to discuss the question, “According to the fairness principles described in this tool, what tax policies would align with our organization’s mission?”
  • Use the tool to evaluate elected officials’ tax positions and then share a summary of their positions with your supporters by email, by posting it on your website/blog, or by creating a flyer you can distribute at events.
  • Share the tool with your supporters by email (see sample email) or through your print newsletter or email newsletter (see sample message).
  • Post the tool on your website or mention it on your organization’s blog.
  • Include aspects of the tool in your elected officials questionnaires and guides. Doing this can help shape their positions.
Please let us know how this tool worked in the Action Tool Feedback Form.

Sample e-mail when sharing Action Tool:

(Copy and paste this into your email)

Dear ______,

We thought you might be interested in this new Action Tool developed by United for a Fair Economy that helps you evaluate the fairness of tax positions of elected officials.

The Action Tool contains key progressive tax principles and sample questions to use when researching elected officials' positions and for asking them directly.

You can check out the Action Tool and ways individuals and organizations can use it at: http://faireconomy.org/action_tools_for_evaluating_electedofficials. Use it yourself and share it with friends and family!

Sample message for newsletters or e-news:

(Copy and paste this into your email)

Check out this new Action Tool developed by United for a Fair Economy that helps you evaluate the fairness of tax proposals/positions of elected officials! See the Action Tool and ways individuals and organizations can use it at: http://faireconomy.org/action_tools_for_evaluating_electedofficials.

 

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