A lot of people have political power. They just don't realize that they have it. Power means you have to have a lot of education about the issue that you're deeply interested in. Power means that you have to exercise leadership, a rare elusive quality. You have to be a catalyst, reaching out to a whole bunch of different interest groups with different memberships, skills, and abilities -- and you have to activate them.
Power means developing a long term working relationship with a variety of elected officials. You have to have a very detailed, analytical understanding of the details, and you have to be current on all of their details. You have to be a rabid political fan with knowledge crammed in your head the way a sports fanatic has an attic full of statistics on ballplayers. It helps if you're Irish or Jewish. In any case you have to have a definite identity. People who don't know who they are are followers, not leaders. And you have to focuse on your trade like a monomaniac. It's strongly recommended that you have an endless fountain of energy, and you don't mind existing on six hours sleep or less for an indefinite period.
Political power is important, because that's the only way you can fight the bad guys. And did I tell you that the bad guys are not only out there, but they're already implementing all of the strategy and tactics that you should already be doing because they have a virtually unlimited supply of money, and you don't?
When you have political power you're not Adolf Hitler. You're more like a football coach. There are a whole bunch of specialists who need co-ordination. That's your job, and remember-- you can't make anybody do anything they don't want to do. Humanity above all, my friend! And don't be a goddamned liar! That will sink you faster than anyone, unless you're in South Carolina or some other rat-infested hellhole. Having power means being honest. Don't be afraid of whispering in your congressman's ear that he's full of shit if he deserves it. The trick of course, is to get to the position of whispering in the congressman's ear in the first place. That is the R-E-L-A-T-I-O-N-S-H-I-P word.
More than anything, political power means love. You have to love your community and be a part of it as much as you possibly can. You have to spend nights poring over 100 page policy papers looking for that nugget buried in one sentence on page 76 if that's what it means. You have to sit on far too many folding chairs for anything that's good for you. You will practice pizza aversion therapy.
And you will have to do this because you love your community. You love your co-workers. You are a team player. And we are all in this fight together.