Bring the conflict-free movement to your city
The illegal trade in conflict minerals – gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum – is one of the primary drivers of conflict in eastern Congo today. Armed groups are financed by the minerals trade, while local communities see little benefit. These minerals end up in our electronics products, directly connecting us as consumers to the conflict.
Our consumer pressure can motivate companies to take a stand against conflict minerals. Thousands of individuals, students at nearly 100 universities, and state legislatures are already voicing their demand for conflict-free products from Congo.
Now it's time for cities to stand up for the people of eastern Congo.
Pass a city resolution
A city resolution will express your city’s preference, as a large consumer and holder of major purchasing contracts from companies, for conflict-free products. It will encourage the electronics industry and others to do more to source minerals from eastern Congo that benefit communities rather than fuel the cycle of rape and war.
Passing a city resolution can involve several steps, and we’re here to guide you through the process.
Step 1: Recruit friends, family, and community members to help you out
Build a coalition to engage your community and to support your efforts in making your city conflict-free. Talk to your friends, family, coworkers, or others in your network and tell them about the conflict in eastern Congo and why you want your city to pass a conflict-free resolution. Get in touch with other human rights groups in your community so that they can help spread the word. High school and college clubs as well as active community groups are a great place to start. You can also email us to see if we know anyone in your area who might be interested in getting involved.
By enlisting help and educating your local networks, you'll be able to accomplish more and build a stronger and more powerful coalition.
Need some talking points to get more familar with the issue? We got you covered. Download talking points here. (PDF)
Step 2: Connect with your city council and introduce them to the issue
Learn how your city council is organized and what the process is to pass resolutions. Each city council is set up a bit differently, so do a bit of research into how it works in your city. Spend some time on your city council’s website - look at member’s bios, any instructions on how to contact the council, when votes are scheduled, and how it all works.
Identify the best city council member to connect with, whether it be someone who directly represents your neighborhood, or maybe it is someone who has a background or interest in human rights and international issues.
Once you’ve identified who to contact and the best way to get in touch with them, reach out!
Step 3: Work with your city council member to introduce and pass the resolution
Offer to meet with you city council members and provide resources that might be helpful in educating them on the issue and passing the resolution. Here are a couple documents that might be useful: background information on the conflict and conflict minerals (LINK), a sample resolution (LINK), and a press release from Pittsburgh’s successful passage (LINK).
Your City Council Members might also ask you to present to a committee or the entire Council on the issue. If you have this opportunity, talk about what is happening in eastern Congo and why it’s important to you, the role of the minerals trade in the conflict, and why this resolution will make a difference.
And of course, let us know how we can help you along the way.
Step 4: Spread the Word
Make sure the public, companies, and your elected officials are aware that your city is standing up for human rights.
The more noise and local awareness you can create around this resolution, the more powerful it will be.
Here are a few ideas on how to get the word out:
- Post on your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Write an op-ed in your local paper.
- Blog for us on Enough Said.
- If you are part of a high school or college, ask permission to put up flyers around campus or speak at a campus event to raise awareness.
- Set up a meeting with your Member of Congress to tell them about your efforts.
- Get your city council member to send a letter to the top 21-electronics companies. Contact email@example.com for the most current list of CEOs and company executives with their contact information.
And of course, don’t forget to let us know! We are here to help you through the whole process. Keep us up to date on your efforts by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Want to know more?
Here are a few examples of three cities that have already passed resolutions:
Edina, MN passed a resolution the next year in July 2012. Here is a blog post about the student activists' efforts in Edina.