Citation
Characteristics of Colorado feminist organizations and influence on state legislation

Material Information

Title:
Characteristics of Colorado feminist organizations and influence on state legislation case studies from the 1995 general assembly
Creator:
Aponte, Ruth
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vi, 61 leaves : forms ; 28 cm.

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of Arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Political Science, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Political science

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Women -- Political activity -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Pressure groups -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Pressure groups ( fast )
Women -- Political activity ( fast )
Colorado ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Colorado at Denver, 1996. Political science
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 60-61).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Political Science.
General Note:
Department of Political Science
Statement of Responsibility:
by Ruth Aponte.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
36420103 ( OCLC )
ocm36420103

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text
CHARACTERISTICS OF COLORADO FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS
AND
INFLUENCE ON STATE LEGISLATION CASE STUDIES FROM THE 1995 GENERAL ASSEMBLY
by
Ruth Aponte
B.A., University of Northern Colorado, 1988
A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Political Science 1996


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by Ruth Aponte has been approved by
5/0 hu
Date
Lucy Ware


Aponte, Ruth (M.A., Political Science)
Characteristics of Colorado Feminist Organizations and Influence on State Legislation: Case Studies from the 1995 Colorado General Assembly
Thesis directed by Professor Jana Everett
ABSTRACT
The thesis explores the relationship between organizational characteristics of Colorado feminist organizations and their success in influencing the outcome of state legislation. Five feminist organizations are studied that sought to influence legislation dealing with reproductive rights or child support enforcement in the 1995 Colorado General Assembly. A summary of the events that transpired around two specific pieces of legislation is presented as case studies.
The case studies focus on four organizational characteristics as they afreet the ability of feminist organizations to influence the outcome of the legislation. The characteristics are: l)membership size and composition, 2) leadership style and ability, 3) financial resources and 4) communication mechanisms. The case studies include interviews with activists and members of the Colorado General Assembly.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication.
Signei
Jana Everett
iii


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION..................................................1
Purpose of the Study......................................1
Scope of the Study........................................1
Limitations of the Study..................................2
Research Methods..........................................3
Independent Variables...............................3
Dependent Variables.................................3
Sampling............................................4
Conclusion................................................4
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE......................................6
Resource Mobilization Theory..............................6
Criticism of Resource Mobilization Theory.................8
Application of Resource Mobilization in This Analysis.....9
Organizational Characteristics...........................10
Case Studies of Feminist Organizations...................11
Conclusion...............................................14
3. ASSESSMENT OF FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS.........................16
Overview of Feminist Organizations.........................16
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains..............16
National Organization for Women, Colorado Chapter......17
Women's Lobby of Colorado............................. 17
Colo. Natn'l Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League.... 17 Colorado League of Women Voters........................18
Organizational Characteristics.............................18
Membership.............................................18
Leadership.............................................22
Financial Resources....................................24
Communication Mechanisms...............................25
iv


Conclusion.
29
Table 3-1 Internal Characteristics By Organization..........31
4. LEGISLATIVE CASE STUDIES.......................................33
House Bill 95-1329, Parental Notice Act....................34
Organizational Characteristics that Influenced
Legislative Outcome...................................35
Leadership..........................................35
Communications Systems..............................36
Membership..........................................36
Financial...........................................36
Other Factors Influencing Legislative Outcome.........36
House Bill 95-1142, Employer Reporting of New Hires.........36
Organizational Characteristics that Influenced
Legislative Outcome...................................38
Leadership..........................................38
Communications Systems..............................38
Membership..........................................38
Financial...........................................39
Other Factors Influencing Legislative Outcome...........39
Conclusion............................................39
5. LEGISLATOR INTERVIEWS: MEMBERS OF THE COLORADO
GENERAL ASSEMBLY..............................................41
Name Recognition and Awareness.............................42
Perceptions of Influence...................................43
Table 5-1 Summary of Legislator Interviews.................46
6. CONCLUSION...................................................47
Legislative Outcome........................................47
Characteristics Supporting Success.........................48
Reflections from the Activists.............................49
Recommendations............................................50


APPENDIX
A. QUESTIONNAIRE FOR ORGANIZATIONAL
REPRESENTATIVES............................ 52
B. LEGISLATOR QUESTIONNAIRE...................55
C. REPRESENTATIVES FROM FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS.58
D. LEGISLATORS INTERVIEWED....................59
REFERENCES........................................ 60
VI


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Purpose of-the Study.
This thesis examines how specific organizational characteristics affect the ability of feminist organization's to influence state public policy issues. As the review of the literature will reveal, past research supports the hypothesis that the existence of certain internal organizational characteristics is related to success in influencing public policy. The following research question is investigated: Is there a correlation between the degree to which Colorado feminist interest groups possess certain organizational characteristics and their success in influencing the outcome of state legislation?
The analysis presented in this thesis contributes to knowledge about the impact of internal organizational dynamics on the ability to influence public policy. In this way the work contributes to the broader understanding of social movement impact on public policy. The work also provides a historical record of the activity and internal workings of feminist organizations in the 1995 Colorado General Assembly.
Additionally, this work may be used as a tool to provide members of feminist organizations with a guide for reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of their movement in addressing public policy issues. Of all the variables affecting policy outcome, members of feminist groups have, perhaps, the most control over internal organizational characteristics. This thesis may shed some light in an area where feminists are in the best position to create change. By using this knowledge they may become more effective in their efforts to achieve justice and equality for all women.
Scope of the Study
The five feminist organizations studied sought to influence legislation dealing with reproductive rights or child support enforcement in the 1995 Colorado General Assembly. A summary of the events that transpired around two specific pieces of
1


legislation will be presented as case studies. In one case the feminist organizations achieved their goal and in the other case they did not.
The case studies focus on four organizational characteristics as they affect the ability of the feminist groups to influence the outcomes of the legislation. The characteristics examined are 1) membership size and composition, 2) leadership style and ability, 3) financial resources and 4) communication mechanisms. The following sources of data were used: organizational records, newspaper coverage of the legislation and interviews with organization activists and with members of the Colorado General Assembly.
The analysis in thesis proceeds with the assumption that the feminist organizations studied are part of a much broader national and global social movement. Social movements are defined as collective efforts by a large number of people to bring about or halt change. As articulated by Anne Costain (1983,192), the goals of the women's movement are as follows:
The women's movement, like most social movements, is a community of belief which links millions of Americans together in an effort to achieve social, economic and political equality for women.
This movement, while in a constant state of change and growth, has at its' core the commitment to forwarding women's equality and empowerment.
Limitations of the Study
Not many scholars have explored the relationship between internal variables and success in influencing public policy. In reality, effectiveness is a difficult thing to isolate and measure analytically. A review of the literature reveals that political scientists have found it hard to determine the amount of influence exerted by an interest group or social movement. Effectiveness escapes simple conceptualization and measurement.
The thesis therefore, is an examination of the relationship between organizational characteristics and legislative outcomes. It cannot be proven that organizational characteristics are the primary reason for a bill's passage or defeat. Accordingly, the case studies include an overview of other factors, such as the type of change sought and the external political climate, that may have contributed to the outcome of the legislation.
2


Research.Methods.
Indgpepdfint-Variables.
The four characteristics that have emerged from the literature review as internal organizational characteristics associated with success or failure in lobbying efforts are the independent variables for the analysis. These characteristics were also chosen because of the author's personal experience in efforts to influence state policy. In review, the four variables examined are:
The capacity to communicate with and activate supportive individuals and organizations.
The existence of a substantially large membership base that is diverse and committed to take action.
The availability of financial resources to support the effort to influence state policy.
The level of experience and expertise of staff and/or volunteers in negotiating the legislative process and in understanding the policy issue.
Assessment of the independent variables is done in the following ways:
1. Completion of a general inventory, based on organizational materials, that explores the extent to which the organization possess or lack each of the four variables.
2. Utilization of interviews with organizational representatives to obtain further information about the four characteristics. These interviews also allow for expression of perceptions about any variables the participant deems important to the legislative outcomes.
Dependent Variables
The first indicator of the influence of the feminist organizations on public policy issues will involve a comparison of the organization's goals for the specific piece of legislation with the outcome. Did the legislation pass or fail as the group desired?
3


Legislator perceptions about an organization's effectivenesson the specific legislation and overallwill be a second indicator of the dependent variable, the influence of feminist organizations on public policy. The interviews will focus on group performance around two specific pieces of legislation before the 1995 Colorado General Assembly.
House Bill 95-1329 Parental Notice Act. This bill would have required that a doctor notify a female minor's parent or legal guardian before performing and abortion.
House Bill 95-1142 Employer Reporting of New Hires. This bill would have required that employers notify the Department of Labor within five weeks after an employee was newly hired. The goal was to locate quickly parents negligent of paying child support enforcement and secure payment.
The bills were chosen because of the substantial action taken on both during the 1995 session and because several feminist organizations were involved in efforts to influence the legislative outcomes.
Sampling
The interview sample is both random and purposive. In total, 15%, or 15 members, of the Colorado General Assembly were requested to do an interview. Ten legislators were randomly chosen. The other five were selected because they were leaders on the issue or they represent a perspective not present in the random sample (such as rural or suburban districts). Two of the fifteen legislators denied an interview leaving total interview sample of 13 or 13% of the members of the Colorado General Assembly.
Conclusion
The material in this theses is presented in a manner intended to build upon itself. In Chapter Two, a review of the literature explains the relevance of resource mobilizations as the operative theory for the thesis and identifies the organizational characteristics used for evaluation. An assessment of the five feminist organizations-Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado National Abortion Rights Action League, the Women's Lobby of Colorado, the National Organization for
4


Women, Colorado Chapter and the League of Women Votersis provided in Chapter Three. This assessment provides an overview of the individual organizations and draws comparisons between them for each organizational characteristic.
The case studies of the effort to influence the two bills are presented in Chapter Four. These detail the activities involved in the organizational efforts and explore to what extent each organizational characteristic was brought to bear. In Chapter Five, the perceptions of the members of the Colorado General Assembly are discussed. The interviews are analyzed for commonalties and general consensus. All these elements are brought together in Chapter Six in which general observations and conclusions are discussed.
5


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
It is important to put in context this study of feminist organizations attempting to influence state legislative outcomes. Feminist organizations have been classified as part of the social movement of the sixties (Ferree 1995, 6). Social movement theory explores how individuals come together to pursue collective action and achieve social change. Most social movement give rise to a generation of routinized political practices (Touraine 1985, 150). In the case of feminism, the movement has produced, among other practices, interest group activism. In sum, contemporary feminist organizations can credibly be characterized as political interest groups that have emerged from and remain immersed in a broader social movement.
Given this relationship, two schools of knowledge can be applied to the study of feminist organizations attempting to influence state legislative policy: social movement theory and interest group theory. Within this body of literature are the basic theoretical tenets that provide the foundation to this study.
Resource Mobilization Theory
The resource mobilization (RM) theory of social movements is the framework used to analyze the research question. This theory has been the dominant sociological model for explain social movements since the 1970s. It replaced previous models, called classical, that were based on social-psychological explanations of collective action by asserting political and organizational determinants (MeAdam 1982, 6).
Classical models of social movement were based on an assumption of pluralism. All groups in society compete to satisfy their interests on a level political playing field. The system is open and responsive and one groups does not have more control over the system than another.
Under this assumption, the choice of individuals to engage in collective action outside of the institutionalized political system is deemed irrational. The only explanation for such behavior must be that participants have some abnormal
6


psychological profile or they are social isolationists. Social movements, therefore, are crude attempts by individuals to cope with psychological issues.
This model was seen as insufficient by many scholars. The major criticisms of the classical model were that it did not account for the general level of unease constantly present in society, it remained focused on individual discontent without explaining how such discontent is transformed into collective action, it relied on a breaking point of dissatisfaction which could not be measured and it denied the relative inequality of groups competing within the institutionalized political arena (McAdam, 1982).
In contrast, resource mobilization is an elite theory. That is, a basic assumption is that groups in society differ markedly in the amount of political power they wield. The traditional political arena is restricted to those who have wealth and are already powerful. Powerful groups can exclude powerless groups from this arena with little fear of reprisal. In this scenario, social movements are a rational attempt to pursue collective interests in the he face of a closed and coercive system. The two basic tenants of resource mobilization theory are:
Discontent is more or less constant over time and does not by itself provide a sufficient cause for a social movement.
The key factor that enables the emergence of social movements is the amount of social resources available to unorganized but aggrieved groups that enable them to forward a collective demand for change.
Resource mobilization diverges from classical theory because it views the genesis of social movements as political and organizational instead of psychological. It attributes rationality to movement participants by acknowledging differences in equality and position of political players and it takes into account external groups influence on a movement.
The assumption in resource mobilization theoiy that is most directly related to this thesis is the assertion that social movements are dependent upon a combination of formal and informal groups for success. In this view, the principal problems of most movements are organizational (Costain 1992, 7). Organization is central to the mobilization of resources. Control over actual and potential resources is a more important determinant than grievances, ideology and the informal organization of social community to precipitating and supporting successful collective action
7


(Buechler 1993, 221). In the absence of the minimal coordination and direction that organizations provide, collective action is impossible (McAdam, 1982).
Resource mobilization for the women's movement occurs within feminist organizations. In the words of Ferree and Martin (1995, 11), feminist organizations
are a form of movement mobilization in the present and a resource for feminist mobilization in the future. Indeed, the most important outcome of any wave of social movement mobilization may be the institutionalized resources it provides for future mobilizations.
In short, feminist organizations are the incubators of the movement.
Feminist groups mobilize resources to achieve an array of goals, identified as important to the movement. They may, for example, provide support or protective services or foster the development and dissemination of ideas through books, magazines and other forms of media. Resource mobilization also occurs in feminist organizations to influence political elites to support or oppose particular legislation, regulation or policy directions (Katzenstien 1995, 35).
Criticisms of Resource Mobilization
Over time RM theory has come under scrutiny and attempt have been made to strengthen its basic assumptions. Doug McAdam (1982) merges insights between sociology and political science to arrive at a variation of RM theory that he calls Political Process Theory. Political Process diverges from RM theory on the subject of elite control over the movement and the capabilities attributed to the movement base.
McAdam contends that the key elements that allow a social movement to occur are 1) expanded political opportunities, 2) existence of a network of organizations to facilitate the movement and 3) the phenomena of cognitive liberation--the belief by a large enough group of people that change is needed and possible to achieve through group action.
In promoting Political Process Theory, McAdam finds fault with RM theory. The model is only applicable to one kind of social movement or social movement organizations that are similar to traditional interest groups and that are interested in only limited reforms. The model does not work well for groups that resort to non-institutional forms of political participation.
8


RM theory assumes that the only source of increased resources to the movement will come from non-indigenous, establishment funding sources. This magnifies the importance of elite support and diminishes the political capabilities of the mass. Additionally, the definition of resources is elusive and when defined has been so broad as to become meaningless. It is difficult, if not impossible, to measure the increase in resources that allow the movement to emerge. Finally, the theory does not take into account the importance of ideology, culture and collective perception about a social condition.
Other scholars have criticized RM theory for its theoretical silences. Steven M. Buechler (1993) states that RM theory ignores some important movement processes because they do not fit into it's conceptual framework. Specifically, the theory denies the important of collective identity and ideology and of movement diversity and culture in shaping, instigating and sustaining a movement. These factors, he argues, are particularly important in the development of the women's movement.
Application of Resource Mobilization in This Analysis
For all the criticisms of resource mobilization theory, it is still the most appropriate framework for this thesis which examines organizational characteristics and influence on state legislation. Resource Mobilization represents the best thinking to date about the dynamics of social movements. Even critics, while finding room for debate, concede that, "there is no clearly defined contender for theoretical dominance" (Buechler 1993,217).
Additionally, the acknowledged strengths of the theory are well suited to the issues studied in this paper. McAdam (1982,24) states that RM theory applies best to organizations that participate in the institutionalized political process. The five feminists organizations reviewed in this work are analyzed in their attempts to influence bills before the state legislature.
Although he feels it falls short on many levels, Buechler concedes that the RM framework is quite helpful in understanding the inter-organizational dynamics of the women's' movement and other movements. The focus of the theory is on the organizational or meso level versus the micro (individual motive) or the macro (historical origins and political opportunity) levels. Again, this orientation is well suited for the focus of this paper.
9


Organizational Characteristics
Organizational characteristics are one of the many types of variables that influence policy outcomes. Factors beyond the organization's control, for example, the type of policy change sought or the prevailing social, political and economic climate, may have great impact on the success or failure of a policy initiative. Such broad external variables are beyond the scope of this research.
While recognizing that there is a larger picture, this thesis will focus on internal organizational variables that influence policy outcomes. The study of these variables is important because it adds to the understanding of internal organizational dynamics. Arguably, organizations have more control over internal factors. Study of the relationship of internal factors to policy outcome will provide important information for individuals involved in feminist organizations.
Observations from both political science and sociology reveal similar findings on the internal dynamics of political organizations. This is so much the case that one scholar has called for the elimination of any distinction between what political scientists call interest groups and sociologists call social movement organizations.
Paul Bernstein (1995, 1) argues that, "there is no meaningful difference between the organizations commonly labeled 'interest groups' and those called 'social movement organizations'". When writing about interest groups and social movements organizations, scholars often fail to define them with any specific criteria. When they are defined, the meaning can be applicable to both phenomena.
The distinction between "interest groups" and "social movement organizations" which initially seems so obvious to those who study politics, does not exist, in the sense that no one has developed a convincing basistheoretical or empiricalfor distinguishing
consistently between the two. Rather than continue trying to make the distinction, therefore, we should simply say that there are a variety of nonparty organizations which try to influence political outcomes (Bernstein 1995, 5).
For the purpose of this paper, interest groups and social movement organizations shall be treated as one in the same.
10


As noted in the introduction, not many scholars have explored the relationship between internal variables and organizational success in influencing public policy. In reality, influence is a difficult thing to isolate and measure analytically. A review of the literature reveals that political scientists have found it hard to determine the amount of influence exerted by an interest group. Effectiveness escapes simple conceptualization and measurement.
For one approach to measuring influence, scholars have recognized the benefits of the qualitative interview to record the observations, perceptions and opinions of individuals involved in political action. Weiss (1994, 3) defends the value of qualitative interviews by asserting the "coherence, depth and density of the material each respondent provides." Use of the reputational analysis approach often provides a fuller understanding of the experience of the actors and, thus a clearer picture of the action.
Philip Mundo (1992, 233) also uses qualitative interviews in an attempt to address the problems associated with measuring influence. In several case studies of interest groups attempting to influence legislation dealing with labor, environment and business issues, he conducts interviews with key people responsible for carrying out the policy campaign. In doing so, he argues
it is possible to think of effectiveness from the perspective of the group.
Are members and leaders satisfied with the ability of the group to achieve it's policy goals? A more complete understanding of organizational characteristics leads to a sharper assessment of the effectiveness characterized in this way. Knowing members motivations, policy goals, how decisions are made and the strategies used to achieve them allows for a more broadly defined evaluation of effectiveness.
With this approach he employs reputational analysis to arrive at conclusions about the effectiveness and influence.
Case Studies of Feminist Organizations
Research on interest groups provides some agreement on key elements of organizations. Hrebenar and Scott (1990,19) assert that the "lobbying potential of any group is determined largely by the group's characteristics and resources." They identify three crucial organizational characteristics related to lobbying success.
11


1. -Membership Composition
The interest group is both sustained and limited by the membership. Factors of importance are numbers, wealth and education levels, time availability, experience, geographic distribution and commitment level.
2. Financial Resources
This is perhaps the single most useful resource an interest group can possess because it can be converted into any other resource. This includes existing financial resources and the ability to raise money.
3. Quality of Leadership and Staff
Leadership is the key catalyst that converts the interest group's internal resources into political clout. Leadership is situational and should be appropriate for the needs of the organization.
Several scholars have completed case studies of successful and unsuccessful lobbying efforts which together reveal some common organizational characteristics of feminist organizations. These case studies reveal that, in terms of lobbying efforts, feminist organizations have characteristics very similar to what has been known as traditional interest groups.
An early work by Joyce Gelb and Marian Lief Palley (1979,362) found that, "despite general support from women's groups, lobbying efforts by feminists have become functionally specialized along issue related lines." In their analysis of four efforts by feminist organizations to implement specific legislation, they identified six elements which enable effectiveness in influencing public policy in the United States.
Successful groups must maximize their image of broad based support in order to demonstrate potential electoral impact to decision makers.
Successful groups must select a narrow issue which does not challenge fundamental values and which does not divide potential constituencies among competing groups.
A policy network must be mobilized to work in conjunction with the group's goals in order to secure access to decision makers.
Successful groups must provide technical and informational resources to Congress members and bureaucrats at all stages of the policy making process.
12


Successful groups must be willing to compromise both in dealing with constituent groups demands and in the political process.
Success must be defined in terms of increments of change rather than total victory.
Of these six elements, only two can be defined as organizational characteristics. Number three, the ability to mobilize a policy network, is directly related to communications systems. Number four, the provision of technical and informational resources, speaks to leadership style and expertise. The other four rules can be categorized as components of political strategy.
Anne Costain (Costain 1988,33) explores the transition of the women's movement from the 1960s to the 1980s. She limits her examination to Washington DC-based groups with a national focus that are engaged in a systematic effort to influence public policy. She arrived at these findings, in part, by conducting interviews with representatives from these groups and Congress members and their staff
Costain argues three external and strategic factors helped the women's movement establish an initial presence on Capitol Hill.
Major changes in the external political environment which increased congressional an public support for women's issues.
Aid and assistance of pre-existing organized women's groups who were not focused on policy change.
The connection to Congress members, particularly female members, who were supportive and active on women's movement issues.
Costain also drew upon this work to identify internal factors influencing policy outcome: Namely, the "routinized and smoothly functioning cooperative networks of women's groups supporting women's issues (Costain, 1988, 39). Her interviews with feminist activists revealed virtual agreement that there was an efficient lobbying effort that could be mobilized on short notice in support of a broad range of women's issues.
Ellen Boneparth and Emily Stoper (1988,10-14) present several factors that they argue are essential to the success of a lobbying organization. They are:
The possession of financial resources.
13


A process for communication with group members.
A process for communication with the general public.
Political Contacts.
The establishment of a presence in policy making institutions.
Three of these factors, possession of financial resources and processes for communication with group members and the public, can be classified as internal characteristics. The other two are again components of political strategy. Boneparth and Stoper additionally argue that the successful lobby organization requires individuals who have substantive expertise and who are highly knowledgeable about the intricacies of the policy making process (1988, 11).
Conclusion
The literature on interest groups offers a good base of descriptive studies on the internal characteristics of interest groups. There has been very little analysis of the relationship between these internal characteristics and the ability of an interest group to influence policy outcome. There is no attempt to measure analytically such a relationship and scholars admit the inherent problems with an attempt to conduct such an analysis.
The primary research method to analyze interest group effectiveness has, therefore, been case studies of specific interest groups and specific lobbying efforts. These case studies rely extensively on participant interviews to assess perception of effectiveness.
Scholars who have studied feminist lobbying organizations have primarily used a broad stroke in describing the socio-economic and political factors that attributed to the success or failure of specific lobbying efforts. There is, however, found in these case studies some analysis of internal characteristics.
A review of the collective work on interest groups generally and feminist groups specifically reveals some common themes. Four internal characteristics emerge that are associated with success or failure in influencing policy. They are:
14


An efficient and comprehensive communication system that allows the interest group to work in coalition with other feminist organizations.
An active and diverse membership base to support the lobbying efforts.
A stable base of financial support.
Leaders who possess a highly sophisticated level of knowledge on the issues and the political process.
This thesis will analyze these characteristics as they are demonstrated in feminist organizations seeking to influence specific legislation before the 1995 Colorado General Assembly.
15


CHAPTER 3
ASSESSMENT OF FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS
This chapter will explore the four internal organizational variables membership composition, leadership experience, financial resources and communication systemsin five feminist organizations seeking to influence policy outcome of bills before the 1995 Colorado General Assembly. A chart outlining these characteristics by organization is provided on page 29. The information for the analysis was obtained through interviews with organizational representatives and a review of organizational documents such as newsletters, fact sheets and budget material1. A brief introduction to the five organizations follows.
.Overview of Feminist Organizations
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) is a large, very well established and well funded organization that has a long and successful history of working on reproductive rights issues at the Colorado General Assembly. PPRM has been in Colorado for seventy seven years. The agency's primary function is to provide reproductive health care services, including abortion, in Colorado and across the Rocky Mountain region. The public affairs program is a secondary focus with the goal of working to promote public policy that guarantees access to reproductive health care to all citizens. The public affairs program has numerous staff and includes a professional lobbyist.
1These materials were reviewed in the offices of the respective organizations where they remain on file.
16


National Organization for Women, Colorado Chapter
The Colorado Chapter of the National Organization for Women has been less active in recent years than when it was first established in the early 1970s. The organization's mission is to work for the benefit of women and children by making their lives more economically and politically equitable. This is done by working to put women in elected office and key policy making positions and by working in the legislative arena. The organization is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit-contributions are not tax deductible because it is established solely for political advocacy. An affiliation with a 501(c)(3) called the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund allows for tax deductible contributions to education and legal issues.
The agency has a downtown office but works on a small budget and retains no professional staff. Most of the business operations and all the programsincluding legislative affairs are carried on by volunteers. The affiliation with the national office based in Washington DC affords the Colorado NOW considerable name recognition and they have been successful in securing substantial media coverage.
Women's Lobby of Colorado
The Women's Lobby of Colorado (WLC) is a very young organization that has only been working at the state capitol for two years. The organization formed in 1993 out of a desire by several activists to have more representation on women's issues at the state capitol. WLC has had a professional lobbyist at the capitol for two sessions. The organization's stated mission is, "To bring about a better, freer and more caring society and to create systemic change that will improve the lives of women in Colorado. In practice that means lobbying at the Colorado legislature on behalf of women. Eighty percent of the budget is used to hire two professional contract lobbyists. WLC does not have an office or any other professional or support staff.
The Women's Lobby of Colorado has both individual and organizational members. A long-term goal of the WLC is to become a lobbying arm for many existing women's organizations. Current organizational membership includes the League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado NOW and Colorado NARAL.
Colorado National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL)
Colorado NARAL is viewed as the political arm of the prochoice community. The organization has been in Colorado for 15 to 20 years using the political process to guarantee every woman access to a safe and legal abortion and to the full range of
17


reproductive health care services. This activity extends beyond the legislative session as the agency does a tremendous amount of political work through the entire year. NARAL conducts candidate surveys and provides endorsements, funding and volunteers to support pro-choice contenders. Three out of four professional staff are involved to some extent in political issues. The organization does not retain a professional lobbyist.
Colorado League of Women Voters
Recently, the national League of Women Voters turned 75 and the Colorado Chapter is 68 years old. Although the League is known as a women's organization and work on a substantial number of women's issues, the mission is actually a much broader one of promoting civic participation and securing open and democratic processes for government. The League seeks to educate Colorado voters and to get them involved in policy matters impacting their communities. Stated goals are promoting an informed electorate and influencing public policy. The organization has a lobbyist and Administrative director. Both these positions vary from full time to part time depending on the time of year (such as during the legislative session) and there is also part time clerical support.
QrganizationaLCbaracteristics
Membership
As we have learned in chapter 2, membership is an important element in the successful lobbying efforts of interest groups. Hrebenar and Scott (1990) argue that a crucial characteristic of a group is the unique resources found among the membership. In general, attractive qualities in a membership base include high education and income levels, diverse geographic representation, high time availability and a strong commitment to the organization or the issue. A large number of members is also an asset. There is considerable variation in the composition of membership among the five feminist organizations.
Planned Parenthood does not claim to have members per se and, thus, is not described as a membership organization Individuals who give money, attend events or participate in public affairs functions are classified as supporters or donors. The agency has approximately 7,000 supporters. None-the-less, the organization possesses the strongest combination of indicators of useful membership.
18


PPRM describes their supporters as being extremely educated with most having at least one college degree. Their socioeconomic status is upper middle class and most have a professional and managerial background. The geographic distribution is primarily Metro Denver; however, the agency has twenty seven clinics around the state and thus has a small statewide political presence. The supporters also have a good amount of time available. Many supporters come from single-income families where the man works and the women is able to volunteer her time. In terms of unique characteristics, PPRM describes their support base as primarily Republican and conservative. The agency also has access to doctors and other health care providers who bring a unique perspective to the table.
PPRM describes the supporter commitment to the organization as "mid level". Members also support and give money to other groups. If it came down to PPRM and another organization, PPRM is not sure that the agency would be a first priority. Supporters are felt to be less committed to choice issues generally than, for example, NARAL members. NARAL is single focused. Planned Parenthood is a service provider that deals with the broad spectrum of family planning issues.
NOW defines a member as those individuals who pay dues. It is felt that NOW is a very inclusive organization. As Anderson stated, "Our membership is pretty middle of the road. The stereotype that NOW members are all bra burning lesbians is wrong. We try to be reasonable." The organization has approximately 3,500 to 4,000 members statewide.
NOW describes the members as having, overall, a fairly high education level. Most have finished at least high school and some college. Their socioeconomic status is middle class and there seems to be a high concentration in the service industry-education, nursing etc. The members are located primarily in Metro Denver with strong chapters in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Durango, Fort Collins and Boulder. NOW is also connected at the national level.
The time availability varies with the person, chapter and activity. The members will act when asked. Spread across the membership the time involvement is minutes per person but the organization also has volunteersBoard members and the coordinatorwho donate many hours of their time each week.
In terms of unique characteristics, NOW describes their members as sharing a common base for understanding the struggle of women in society. The members have personal experience with this struggle and therefore have a high level of sensitivity.
The feeling is that the members were very influential with elected officials whom they
19


helped get into office. Those chapters that did electoral work have more impact with legislators.
The membership commitment level to the NOW is described as fairly high. People drop and in and drop out but they always remain involved. Their commitment lasts over the years.
The Women Lobby of Colorado considers a member an individual who pays dues. The base ranges from $25 to $35 for individuals and $100 for organizations. Organizations do not exert any special power. Robert stated that "the way to get power in the Women's Lobby is to become involved." The organization has approximately 210 individual members and 10 to 12 organizational members.
The WLC describes the members as being primarily college educated. They are middle class to upper class There is a mix of professional women and many are retired. The members are primarily located in East and South Central Denver. WLC also has a strong and active group in Colorado Springs. The Women's Lobby feels that the members have virtually no time available. It has taken the organization some work to secure a stable group of people with the time for the Board.
The WLC feels the members are unique because most are activists who have had experience working in other women's organizations. They have residency in districts and are active in the local community. They possess a certain level of civic sophistication to appreciate the need for a women's lobby. Many are already connected to a women's group and activists before they come to the WLC.
In terms of the members' commitment level to the organization, the WLC feels that people would rather be donors than active members. The members have no time to become involved because they are active elsewhere and have a primary commitment to another organization.
NARAL considers a member of the organization to be people who give money at a specific level~$35 is the basic level. This is distinct from donors who are people who come to events or have sporadic contact and are not recruited through direct solicitation. The organization has approximately 5,000 to 6,000 members.
The members are described as having at least an undergraduate degree, middle class and as representing a broad range of occupations from stay at home moms to construction workers to lawyers. Overall, there are slightly more professionals
20


involved than other occupations. The majority of NARAL's members are in Denver and Boulder, but the organization has at least two members in every House district.
The time availability of the members is quite varied. Some people volunteer 30 to 40 hours a week and some make one phone call a month. Others give the organization money because they cannot give time.
NARAL describes the members as activists. They have political savvy and are interested in political action. This is a different role than PPRM whose members are seen as politically softer. The commitment level of the members to NARAL also varies and involvement depends on the individual.
For the League of Women Voters a member is someone who makes a $45 financial contribution. There is an expectation that the members become involved in the chapters and in the organization as a whole. The League has approximately 1,500 members.
The League characterizes the members as having a high level of education with most possessing an undergraduate degree and a good percentage with advanced college degrees. The socioeconomic status is largely middle class with mostly current and former professionals. The League has very good involvement and representation across the state. There are 15 local groups all over the state, including the Eastern plains and small pockets on the Western Slope. The time availability of League members is also good. The members are very active and their is an expectation that people will contribute their time.
In terms of unique resources the League feels that the members are extremely committed and involved, more than is so for other nonprofit, grassroots groups. People make the investment to become volunteer experts on a particular issue. This is true on both a statewide level and in their own communities. The members are older and wiser members of their communities who are very respected and can provide a unique perspective on the issues. They have worked and been parents. Additionally, the members do a very detailed study of the issues to arrive at a very well thought out and cogent position.
In terms of membership, there are some similarities between the organizations. All organizations members have some college and all are at least middle class. All organizations are heavily represented in the Metro area with the League of Women Voters and NARAL showing strongest involvement outside the metro area.
21


NARAL, the League of Women Voters and the Women's Lobby of Colorado all identified the presence of experienced activists in their membership. Planned Parenthood and NOW appear to attract individuals with a broader interest than the political arena. NARAL appears to be the most successful in involving the members in the program. This agency has the highest percentage of volunteers to members. The Women's Lobby of Colorado's has a small numbers of members and volunteers relative to the other groups. The WLC also reported the least amount of member time availability.
Overall, Planned Parenthood seems to have the strongest showing across all specific membership indicators. The agency has the most supporters and they have the highest level of education, income and time availability. PPRM is fairly well represented across Colorado and the conservative leaning of their membership would seem to give them an advantage in the Republican dominated Colorado legislature.
Given that NARAL and Planned Parenthood team up on almost any major legislative initiative, the two organizations may have evolved to balance each other in terms of organizational characteristics. NARAL has the extensive communication system and the membership base that is committed to the sole issue of choice. Planned Parenthood has a professional lobbyist and the membership base interested in a broader range of reproductive health issues.
Leadership
While it is important to have resources in the form of membership and financial support, how an organization utilizes these resources is also a critical factor in success. By definition, it is the leadership of the organization that determines how resources will be used. Additionally, the individuals themselves are resources as they bring expertise and experience to bear on the effort. Scholars have noted that high quality leadership is essential to the long term success of a lobbying organization (Hrebenar, 50).
Factors that have been identified as contributing to high quality leadership include experience and mastery of the policy making process and depth of understanding of the issue at hand (Boneparth, 1988, Costain, 1992). Additionally, some scholars have noted the importance of having paid staff to provide continuity and direction to the effort (Hrebenar, 51)..
22


PPRM has several key people working on the legislative program, a majority of whom are staff members. They agency has a full time lobbyist plus two full-time public affairs staff members. Across the state, four staff members devote one day a week to public affairs. The Executive Director and Board members are active primarily when called in to action by other staff.
The individuals working on PPRIVTs legislative program are recognized as experts in the fieldeither with the issue or with the legislative process. The years of individual experience range from two to ten years. In addition to comprehensive knowledge of the issues, the key individuals all have specific experience with the legislative process. The lobbyist has the most experience, but everyone involved with the legislative program has experience working with bills before the legislature.
The key people working on NOWs legislative are the Board of Directors and the volunteer legislative liaison. On some issues the organization has received help from staff at the national office as with the effort to oppose Amendment # 2. For the most part, the organization depends on the volunteers.
The range of experience of people working in NOWs legislative program runs the gamut from highly sophisticated to neophyte. The organization admits that, "some really do not have a clue." Of all the volunteers, probably only one or two people have any depth of experience with the legislative process in Colorado. The non-paid lobbyist has many years of experienceworking on issue and candidate campaigns and in the legislature.
The key people working on the legislative program for the Women's Lobby of Colorado are, in order of importance, the lobbyists, the Issues Committee, the Board and then the general membership. The Board has final say on the overall legislative agenda, but the Issues Committee has regular contact with the lobbyists and provide them with direction.
The experience level of these key people is "fairly low overall." The lobbyists had several years at the capitol before coming to work for the Women's Lobby. However, this was their first year with the WLC and they really had not had prior experience with social issues. Thus, the organization relied heavily on other lobbyists for content expertise. The Issue Committee does have a general understanding of the issues.
23


NARAL's key legislative people are the Political Director and Field Director who co-orchestrated different components of the campaign. Four Board members are highly involved as well as a Lobby Committee of ten to twelve people.
NARAL's staff are recognized experts in the issue area and they feel the volunteers have a very good understanding of the arguments. The range of experience with choice issues varies from one to 22 years. In terms of the legislative process, two or three of the key organizers have some experience and some have a better sense of legislative strategy than others. The Board and staff create the strategy and the committee implements the field work. Board approval is required for every major strategy decision.
The key person working on legislation for the League of Women Voters is a full time lobbyist who does the research and follows the bill through the process. Two volunteers from the legislative action committee also have a particular interest in this bill.
These individuals have much familiarity with the legislative process. Both the lobbyist and the volunteers have previous experience at the capitol. Their experience level on the substance of the bills varies depending on the issue.
Three out of the five organizations, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the League of Women Voters operate with professional staff directing the entire legislative program. NOW and the Women's Lobby rely on volunteers. The Women's Lobby, Planned Parenthood and the League of Women Voters all retain professional lobbyists but of these three, only Planned Parenthood and the League reported a high level of experience with the legislative process. The Women's Lobby felt inexperienced in dealing with their issue agenda in the legislative arena. Both NARAL and Planned Parenthood have leaders who are recognized as experts in the field. The other organizations report varied levels of expertise and experience.
Overall, Planned Parenthood and NARAL appear to have the highest leadership indicators. They have the most staff with the longest years of experience. The volunteer leadership for both organizations is also reported as very capable.
Financial Resources
If there is a single most useful resource a lobby organization can possess, it may be money. Money can be converted into any other resourcequality leadership,
24


access to political decision makers, a favorable public image or hardworking and knowledgeable staff.
PPRM has an annual organizational budget of $13 million. Three percent of this budget, or $390,000, is for public affairs. PPRM conducts ongoing fundraising of which soliciting for the legislative program is a part.
NOW has an annual organizational budget of $20,000. No exact percentage could be determined as spent on the legislative program but representatives estimated it is, "Very little." The organization did not do any fundraising for the legislative program. Instead, NOW became an organizational member of the Colorado Women's Lobby and relied heavily on the lobbyists hired by this organization and provided NOW volunteers as backup.
The Women's Lobby of Colorado has an annual organizational budget of approximately $8,000. Out of this they paid the lobbyists $1,200 per month for five months to equal $6,000. The organization conducted fimd-raisers for the legislative program as a whole rather than for the effort on any specific legislation.
NARAL has an organizational budget of approximately $320,000. The percentage of this budget used to fund the legislative effort could not be determined but was estimated to be, "Hardly anythingless that one percent." The organization conducts ongoing fundraising efforts to support their overall political work.
The League has an organizational budget of $60,000. Approximately 30% of this budget is used for legislative efforts. One fundraising mailing was done on the legislative program as a whole. No appeals were made around specific legislation. The return rate on this effort was not calculated.
Planned Parenthood is clearly in a league of its own in this category even if only the percentage of the budget spent for public affairs is considered. NARAL reports the second highest level of financial resources. Both of these agencies conduct ongoing fundraising whereas the League of Women Voters, the Women's Lobby of Colorado and NOW limit themselves to periodic efforts to raise money.
Communication Mechanisms
A lobby group's communication system links the leaders to the members. Without an effective system the other resources can not be coordinated to achieve the
25


desired goal. Communication serves to educate the members of the organization and call them to action. It also serves to coordinate financial resources.
Although they would not define themselves as a grassroots organization, PPRM takes many approaches to actively involve their supporters in efforts to influence legislation. The members are asked to write letters to the editor and respond to the media and to contact their legislator with a phone call and/or letter. They are involved in efforts to secure editorial support from the newspapers. Additionally, PPRM has members of the board of directors testify at the committee hearings.
PPRM had many methods of internal communication about organizational efforts to influence legislation. The agency held numerous meetings with the staff, lobbyist and coalition members to plan strategy. The Public Affairs committee met monthly and received regular issue briefings. The board was kept up to date at their quarterly meetings. Supporters were alerted through a quarterly newsletter.
More active information was provided through a phone tree which was set up with twelve teams of ten people across the state. This was done by identifying supporters in a legislator's district and asking them to make contact Also, people could call for up to date information on a 1-800 phone number. The Board of Directors, Public Affairs Committee, volunteers and supporters received this communication. PPRM cannot determine the percentage of individuals who responded to the requests to take action.. They do not have a system to measure outcomes of their requests for political action.
PPRM also communicates with other groups about legislative efforts. This is done primarily through coalitions that form around issues. The coalitions provided the structure for continual information sharing.
NOW has several methods of internal communication about organizational efforts to influence legislation although these methods appear to be used sporadically. The Board of Directors, Members and volunteers received the communication.
The organizational newsletter is the primary communication tool. This goes out three to four times a year. Colorado members also get the national newsletter.
The organization has a phone tree of all the chapter presidents who will pass information on to the other members in their chapter. However, one half of the members are members at large who are not affiliated with a chapter and thus do not get the information that is passed through the chapters.
26


On priority issues NOW contacts the members and ask that they contact their legislators. The agency cannot really determine the percentage of individuals who responded to requests for action
The organization communicates with other groups about legislative efforts primarily through the close association with the Women's Lobby of Colorado. As described previously, NOW is highly involved with the Women's Lobby of Colorado and works with other organizations through this avenue. NOW also has a PAC through which they meet with the League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women, NARAL and the Women's Political Caucus to discuss candidates. NOW has both a local and national PAC and have contributed up to $5,000 to campaigns in Colorado in a year.
The Women's Lobby had several methods for internal communication about organizational efforts on the legislative agenda. This communication was made to the Issues Committee, Board, and General Membership
The Issues Committee met once a week with the lobbyists. The Board met once a month and was briefed on legislative developments and approved any needed items. Two newsletters were sent out to the general membership plus invitations to events such as the legislative breakfast and coffee.
Additionally, the organization started a telephone tree that is not yet used very often. At the end of the session they put updates on the phone line about the bills. People would need to call in to get any current information. Individuals were only asked to become active on any issue if they called into the voice mail and heard the outgoing message. WLC could not estimate the percentage of individuals responding to requests for action because they do not have a way to track the information.
WLC did communicate extensively with other groups about their legislative efforts. Such communication is built into the structure of the organization. Almost all Board Members work for or have a leadership position with another women's organization. In this way they communicated about all the Women's Lobby bills mostly through word of mouth at meetings. WLC did not feel that the organization was in a leadership role in terms of asking other organizations to do something. It was known that other organizations had a favorable position on the bill but unclear if these organizations were active.
NARAL has a very extensive and detailed system for internal communication about organizational efforts to influence legislation. This system was used by the staff,
27


Board, Lobby Committee, volunteers and supporters. They utilized a phone tree and newsletters and in the office there were frequent meetings and phonecalls. In this way the communication system is intimate and informal. Additionally, the organization started a fax and e-mail tree.
Through these communications members were asked to become involved in efforts to influence legislation. They were asked to call their legislators and to notify other people by participating in phone banks and phone trees. Some field leaders were asked to have contact with the media and some members held house parties to raise awareness about the issues. NARAL could not, however, document what percentage of members asked to become active responded.
NARAL did communicate with other groups about legislative efforts, primarily through coalitions organized around issues. Often in these situations the organizations finds that the heavy lifting is done by NARAL and PPRM with other groups playing a secondary role.
The primary communication mechanism for the League of Women Voters on legislative items was the Legislative Newsletter which goes out to members several times during the session. Additionally, the League has a "Call to Action" process in which the chapter presidents are asked to coordinate phone trees on those issues. This information is sent to the Board, Legislative Action Committee and the general members. The League does not have a way to track responses to their request for action.
The League involved the members in efforts to influence legislation in many ways. A legislative letter went out biweekly during the session that had frequent updates on the status of the bills. This information explained the bills in terms of the key provisions and gave the members key lobbying points and explained how it related to LWV policy. The updates implied that people contact their legislators but did not direct them to do so. Such direction is reserved for priority issues in which a "Call to Action" is issued instructing people to contact legislators. The call to action is limited to only a few bills each session.
The League communicates with other groups about the legislative agenda primarily through those groups who had lobbyists at the capitolthe Colorado Women's Lobby and Planned Parenthood. In this way, the League attempts to work with these other groups in a coalition approach. When the League is the leader on an issue, the group makes a request for other organizations to take action.
28


All five organizations produce a regular newsletter of which some portion is devoted to updating people on the efforts to influence legislation. NARAL appears to have the most sophisticated process for internal communications which includes phone banking members, sending E-mail and faxes. Additionally, this is organized by the legislative district. The League of Women Voters and Planned Parenthood also possess well organized communication mechanisms. The Women's Lobby of Colorado and NOW reported fewer mechanisms that occur less frequently.
Conclusion
Based upon review of organizational literature and interviews with organizational representatives, a picture has emerged of the organizational characteristics of the five feminist organizations. These characteristics have been charted out in Table 3-1. Interesting similarities and differences are evident among the organizations.
The membership of all organizations is described as having at least some college education and being middle to upper class and comprised mostly of professionals. There is a wide range between the numbers of members the organizations claim, from a high of 6,000 to a low of 210. Additionally, the amount of time the members have available ranges from no time to substantial time.
Four of the five organizations have a lobbyist at the capitol and three of the organizations retain a professional lobbyist. The range of experience among the leadership in the organizations is vastfrom experts in the field to virtual rookies.
Planned Parenthood dwarfs the other agencies in terms of the financial resources it brings to bear on legislative efforts. Although possessing the smallest overall budget, the Women's Lobby commits the vast majority of this budget to legislative efforts. In no case did the organizations document fundraising efforts around a specific bill.
All the organizations utilized a newsletter although the frequency of its' publication is quite varied. Although all the groups use a phone tree, the capacity of these systems was also quite varied. NARAL appeared to have the most frequent and diverse vehicles for communication. None of the organizations had a system to track volunteer follow up on action requests.
29


Two questions remain: 1) How the organizational characteristics were brought to bear on legislative efforts and 2) How effective members of the General Assembly perceived each group to be at influencing public policy. These questions are explored in chapters Four and Five respectively.
30


Table 3-1 Internal Characteristics by Organization
MEMBERSHIP
Numbers
Education Income Time Available Work Type
Geographic Distribution Unique Characteristics
LEADERSHIP
Numbers
Lobbyist
Program coordination Experience level
FINANCIAL
Annual Budget % for legislative effort
Type of Fundraising Frequency of Fundraising
COMMUNICATION
Publications
Activities
Coordination w/ groups Follow thru action requests
PPRM
7,000 Supporter 700 volunteers Graduate Degreed High Income Good Time Available Professionals/Managers Statewide base Conservative Bias Doctors
2 Program Staff 4 part time organizers Professsional Lobbyist Public Affairs Director Experts in subject strong legsltv experience
$3.1 million
3SO K for public Affairs
Action Alerts 1-800#
Coalition member Don't determine
Colo NOW
3,500 4,000 members 50-100 volunteers Some College Middle Class Fair time available Human Service Profssnls Primarily Metro Denver Strong personal investment
No Program Staff
Volunteer Lobbyist Board of Directors Varied experience limited legsltv experience
20 K annual Very little used
Coordinate w/CWL Don't determine
Fundraising for program No fundraising
Ongoing
Newsletter Newsletter
Statewide Phonetree Chapter phonetree
CWL
210 individuals, 12 organ. 18 volunteers One College Degree Mid to Upper class No time available Professionals Primarily Metro Denver Experienced activists
No Program Staff
Professional Lobbyists Issues Committee Minimal Experience good legisltv experience
8 K annual
80% budget for lobbyists
Fundraising for program One appeal
Newsletter Limited phonetree
Limited voice mail Issues Committee Don't determine
31


MEMBERSHIP
Numbers
Education
Income
Time Available Work Type
Geographic Distribution Unique Characteristics
LEADERSHIP
Numbers
Lobbyist
Program coordination Experience level
FINANCIAL
Annual Budget % for legislative effort
Type of Fundraising Frequency of Fundraising
COMMUNICATION
Publications
Activities
Coordination w1 groups Follow thru action requests
Table 3-1 Internal Characteristics by Organization (continued)
NARAL LWV
5,000 6,000 members 2,500 volunteers One College Degree Middle Class Good Time available Professionals Extensive statewide base Experienced Activists
1,500 members 500 volunteers
One Degree, some post graduate Middle Class Good Time available Professionals Extensive statewide base Strong Commitment Community Leaders
2 Pregram Staff
No Lobbyist Lobby Committee Experts in subject strong legisltv experience
320 K annual 10% spent on Bill
Fundraising for program Ongoing
2 Program Staff
Professional Lobbyist Legislative Committee Varied Experience strong legisltv experience
60 K annual
30% on Legislative program
Fundraising for program One appeal
Newsletter
Statewide Phonetree Phonebanks E-mail & fax trees Community Meetings Coalition Member Don't determine
Newsletter
Legislative Newsletter Chapter Phonetree
Calls to action
Coordinate w/CWL Don't determine
32


CHAPTER 4
LEGISLATIVE CASE STUDIES
Case studies provide an appropriate vehicle to study the relationship between the organizational characteristics of the five feminist organizations and the outcome of their legislative efforts. Such an approach sheds light on how the organizational characteristics were brought to bear on the effort and allows for the reaction of the individuals involved to specific events.
The legislative efforts with two bills are presented. The case studies are constructed through interviews with an organizational representative from each of the five feminist organizations and a sample of thirteen members of the Colorado General Assembly. Also used were organizational documents, such as fact sheets and newsletters, that recorded the events that transpired.
Both of the bills studied were defeated. In one case, HB 95-1329, The Parental Notification Act, this was the desired outcome from the point of view of the feminist organizations. The feminist organizations mobilized a defensive strategy to defeat the bill and were successful in this endeavor. In the case of HB 95-1142, Employer Notification of New Hires, the bill also died. This, however, was not the outcome desired by the feminist organizations.
The case studies reveal that the feminist groups worked in coalition with each other. Each bill was deemed a top priority for two or more of the organizations studied. Because of this prioritization, the individual organizations joined in coalition to focus on one bill over the other. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and NARAL were active only on HB 95-1329. Although concerned with HB 95-1329, the League of Women Voters, Colorado NOW and the Women's Lobby of Colorado were most active on HB 95-1142. In both cases, at least one of the organizations involved enlisted the services of a professional lobbyist.
This coalition approach has implications which need to be taken into consideration for this study The characteristics of the individual groups involved shape the characteristics of the coalition. The existence a certain characteristic does
33


not guarantee, however, that it will be employed. To address this issue, the case studies will explore how individual group characteristics are utilized in the coalition.
House Bill 95-1329, Parental Notice Act
This bill would have required that any physician who performs an abortion on a minor to 1) Obtain written consent from the minor, 2) Serve written notice to the minor's parents and 3) Wait forty eight hours after service of notice on the parent before performing the abortion. The feminist organizations opposed this bill and sought its defeat.
From the beginning, individual feminist groups actively formed a coalition to respond to the bill. This coalition was founded on a campaign vehicle called the Protect Our Daughters Initiative that was established in 1994 to defeat a proposed ballot initiative with similar goals as HB 95-1329. In this regard, many of the organizational componentssuch as communications techniques and fundraising were already in place. Additionally, the process of having defeated a proposed ballot initiative of similar nature prepared the feminist organizations by giving them experience with the arguments and debate surrounding the parental notice issue.
The feminist organizations reactivated the Protect Our Daughters Initiative for the effort to defeat HB 95-1329. Although the coalition claimed twenty four organizations as members (including all five studied in this research), Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado National Abortion Rights Action League were identified as the leaders of the coalition.
Prior to releasing a public position on the bill, members of the coalition had discussions about the best strategy to adopt. Some felt that the coalition could defeat the bill on concept and that the focus should be to kill the bill in its entirety. Other felt that this bill would easily pass what they perceived to be a highly conservative Colorado General Assembly. In their view, adoption of a compromise bill was the best way to prevent greater damage and they were prepared to offer a compromise. In the end, the prevailing strategy was to sustain complete and unwavering opposition to the bill.
During these discussions participants decided that it was critical for individual organizations to adhere to the position of the coalition. It was felt that any other
34


approach would dilute the power base of the coalition. As such, the feminist organizations decided early to present a united front.
HB 95-1329 was first assigned to the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. Although the feminist organizations provided testimony and informational fact sheets at the hearing, the committee passed the bill. The bill was then referred to the House Appropriations committee which dealt with the $50,000 fiscal note that was attached to the bill to provide schools with an educational packet on the law should it pass. The committee eliminated this portion of the bill and it was then passed to the House floor for second reading
The debate of the bill on second reading in the House was heated and emotional. The feminist organizations continued their lobbying strategy which included constituent contact, informational handouts, direct contact with the lobbyist and soliciting the help of supportive lawmakers to make their case to the rest of the chamber. Eventually, the feminist organizations succeeded and the bill lost on second reading. The final vote, however, was extremely close29 Aye, 33 No and 3 Excused.
Organizational Characteristics that Influenced Legislative Outcome Leadership
Arguably, the most important factor to the success of the legislative effort around HB 95-1329 was the experience and understanding of the organizational leadership. The individuals leading this effort were well established as state and national experts on issues of reproductive choice. They were well versed in the arguments and anticipated the questions and concerns. Legislators responded to this level of competency as evidenced in comments about detailed and thorough fact sheets and testimony that was consistent and well thought out.
The leadership also possessed a mastery of the legislative process and legislative campaigns. All staff members involved with the effort had prior experience at the Colorado legislature working with the specific legislators voting on HB 95-1329. Additionally, a professional lobbyist with several years of experience working on reproductive choice issues was retained to work directly with lawmakers.
35


Communication Systems
The feminist organizations working to defeat HB 95-1329 instituted a sophisticated communications system that was built upon the experience of having recently defeated a state-wide ballot initiative. In taking a leadership role, PPRM and NARAL provided extensive and frequent communications to organizational members and coalition members. These came in the form of newsletters, action alerts and phonecalls and they contained requests for specific action. NARAL organized a constituent in every legislative district to communicate with each individual legislator.
Membership
The membership of PPRM and NARAL were identified as committed and having a wide variety of resources available to lend to the effort. This was an issue about which the members felt strongly and for which they were prepared to give their time and energy. Membership involvement was evident at all levels of the legislative effort. Members organized district "teach ins", provided testimony at the hearing, sent letters and made phonecalls to legislators, contributed financially and were involved in developing the strategy for the effort.
Einancial
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains brought financial resources to this effort that far exceeded the ability of any of the other feminist organizations studied. As such, PPRM was in a position to retain the professional lobbyist, employ several staff and send numerous communications.
Other Factors Influencing Legislative Outcome
It is common knowledge in the halls of the state capitol that it is easier to kill a bill than to pass one. In this regard the feminist organizations working to defeat HB 95-1329 had an advantage.
Those involved in the effort also feel that the timing of the debate on the bill worked in their favor. The bill sponsor waited several weeks to introduce the bill and this allowed time for the politics in the House of Representatives to change. The litmus test for the moderate center came in the form of a bill which would have recognized homosexuals as a class to receive protection within the hate crime statutes. In supporting this bill, some moderates decided to take a stand against a strong contingent of conservative legislators deemed the "radical right". In doing this they
36


proved to themselves and others that they could take a stand and survive which they subsequently did on HB 95-1329.
A final factor contributing to the defeat of HB 95-1329 is the leadership taken by individual lawmakers in both the House and the Senate. They provided a strong lobby of their colleagues to vote the measure down.
House Bill 95-1142T Employer Reporting of New Hires
HB 95-1142 would have created an employer reporting system that required the employer to report to the Colorado Department of Labor the hiring of all new employees and those on the employers payroll. The legislation was sought to increase child support collections by helping to locate non-paying parents who change jobs frequently.
The Women's Lobby of Colorado identified this bill as one of the organization's top legislative priorities. Through involvement with WLC's legislative committee, Colorado NOW and the League of Women Voters also tracked the bill. The interest in this bill came out of a meeting sponsored by the Department of Human Service (DHS) to overview all the legislation they were supporting to increase child support collections and enforcement. HB 95-1142 was one of three pieces of legislation to increase child support enforcement.
The sponsor of the bill was a senior member of the majority Republican party. Supporters felt the issue had been well researched and they made efforts to anticipate and resolve any concerns about the actual reporting requirements. Although this was a good foundation to start a legislative effort, representatives from DHS felt that the bill would have a better chance of passing if advocacy groups were involved. With the feminist organizations on board, it was felt that this bill had a strong chance of passage.
The bill made it smoothly through the House receiving little to no opposition. The feminist organizations provided testimony in committee, created fact sheets and directed the lobbyist to speak with individual legislators. It was not until the hearing in the Senate Business Affairs and Labor Committee that strong opposition was encountered. Pressured by the credit industry and bank lobby, the committee amended the bill to allow for the collection of this information for any debt, not just child support. This change resulted in the loss of support for the bill as a whole from many lawmakers who had concerns with debt collection practices and the committee ultimately voted the measure down.
37


Organizational Characteristics that Influenced Legislative Outcome Leadership
The organizational factors that have the most bearing on this legislative effort appear to be the "greenness" of the coordinating organization and the inexperience of the leadership. At the time of this legislative effort, the Women's Lobby of Colorado was only three years old. Representatives from the group candidly admitted, "We did not have the capacity to respond to the opposition to this legislation."
In terms of the issue area, the individual leaders had fairly low expertise and, thus, relied heavily on the Child Support Enforcement Division of DHS for content expertise. Additionally, it was the first year that WLC had contracted with the lobbyists and these women did not have a history working on child enforcement issues or any other social issues.
Communication Systems
In terms of communication systems, interviews reveal that Colorado NOW and the League of Women Voters were looking to the Women's Lobby of Colorado to take the leadership on HB 95-1142. The former groups pledged to make the bill a top priority by supporting WLC's efforts. In turn, WLC informed its' members of the status of the bill generally but did not ask for specific action on the bill. By the time the bill was in trouble representatives felt time was to short to activate the members.
In this regard, the communication systems on HB 95-1146 appear limited.
Membership
The membership of the organizations involved with HB 96-1142 possessed strong background in advocacy. The members were professionals in women's groups and had been activists for years. This experience did not extend, however, to much work at the Colorado legislature. Additionally, the members did not demonstrate a strong commitment to the issue. This is evidenced by a lack of time and ability to become actively involved and a belief that other bills before the General Assembly had more of an impact on the issue of child support enforcement. As one representative aptly observed, "They just didn't have the fire in their belly for this one."
38


Financial
Even if viewed as a combined effort, the League of Women Voters, Colorado NOW and the Colorado Women's Lobby did not possess tremendous financial resources to utilize in the effort on HB 95-1142. It is unclear if the level of financial resources did or did not have an effect on the outcome with HB 95-1142. These resources were spread across efforts on several pieces of legislation that made up a broader legislative agenda.
Other Factors Influencing Legislative Outcome
HB 95-1142 was caught up in a broader debate about welfare reform. In addition to this bill, four others which dealt with welfare reform were being considered by the General Assembly. HB 95-1142, there fore, may not have been perceived as the most important bill of its kind. The bill created a technical remedy to a larger issue. That is, by enforcing child support parents are kept off the welfare rolls. Supporters of the measure expressed that lawmakers were focused on the minutia of how the bill would be implemented and missed the goal of the bill.
The fact that opposition to the measure came later in the process and toward the end of the legislative session may have contributed to the defeat of the bill. The late hour gave supporters little time to respond to concerns raised by the banking lobby. It also inhibited mobilizing the grassroots base of the feminist organizations.
Finally, the bank and credit lobby are perceived to have considerable ability to influence legislators. As one representative from the feminist groups stated, "the business lobby found the reporting requirements in HB 95-1142 to strict and the big contributions they may to legislators must have paid off."
Conclusion
The two case studies presented in HB 95-1329 and HB 95-1142 reveal that the feminist organizations took a similar approach to the effort. Coalitions were built around both efforts and both utilized a professional lobbyist, policy documents and membership mobilization. As demonstrated in Chapter 3, the organizations independently reported strength on one or more organizational characteristic. The results, however, are obviously very differentthose organizations involved in the
39


effort to defeat HB 95-1329 achieved there goal and those organizations involved in the effort to pass HB 95-1142 did not achieve their goal.
As the leaders on the effort to defeat HB 95-1329, NARAL and Planned Parenthood brought to bear the combined organizational characteristics of experienced, professional leadership, a broad reaching and perpetual communication system, a committed and active membership and substantial financial resources. These resources appeared to be very directed and focused on the task of defeating the bill.
In contrast, the League of Women Voters, the Women's Lobby of Colorado and Colorado NOW, were unable to exert similar cohesion. The case study reveals that, while the organizational characteristics of leadership, communication systems and membership composition appear strong, little direction was given to applying the characteristics to the effort to effort to promote HB 95-1142. The League of Women Voters, for example, possessed a sophisticated communication system but did not employ the system to call members into action on the bill.
The case studies would suggest that it is not enough to possess the organizational characteristics that are associated with successful legislative outcomes. These characteristics must be employed in a directed and focused fashion so as to maximize their utility. Further insight on this phenomena can be obtained by assessing the perception of the lawmakers that the feminist organizations were trying to influence.
40


CHAPTER 5
LEGISLATOR INTERVIEWS:
MEMBERS OF THE COLORADO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
In Chapter Three, five feminist organizations were analyzed to reveal a picture of four specific organizational characteristics: leadership style and experience, membership composition, communication systems and financial resources. The five organizations studied revealed various levels of strength and weakness within each characteristic area. Case studies were presented in Chapter Four that explored how the feminist organizations applied these characteristics to efforts to influence specific legislation. We observed that leadership knowledge and experience made a considerable difference in legislative outcome. The ability to direct and focus the organizational characteristics to the effort at hand also appeared to have an impact on outcome.
This chapter presents the findings of a series of interviews conducted with legislators who considered the two bills presented in the case studies. The legislators were first chosen from a random sample and some were then selected to balance the outcome of the random pick. In all, thirteen legislators representing thirteen percent of the members of the state legislature were interviewed. The profile of those interviewed is as follows: fifty-four percent were Republicans and forty-six percent were Democrats, forty-six percent were male and fifty-four percent were female, sixty-nine percent were Representatives and forty-one percent were Senators, and twenty-four percent were rural, thirty-eight percent each were suburban and urban. A summary of the interview results is presented in Table 5-1.
Each legislator was led through a series of pre-prepared questions which were primarily qualitative with a few quantitative inquiries (see appendix). The questions explored perceptions about both the overall legislative effort and the five individual feminist organizations. The interviews were conducted over the phone or in person.
41


Name Recognition and Awareness
The first series of questions dealt with recognition and awareness of the feminist organizations. The interview was structured to allow the lawmaker to volunteer the name of any feminist organization with which they had made contact on either HB 95-1329 or HB 95-1142. This provided an unbiased indication of the awareness the lawmaker had of the different groups. The lawmaker was then directly asked about the five feminist organizations in this study.
Overall, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado NARAL had the highest identification among the lawmakers who, without prompting, named the two organizations as having worked on HB 95-1329 during the legislative process. All the legislators interviewed were aware of the mission of each organization and could distinguish them from other groups working at the capitol.
The high name recognition of PPRM and NARAL may correspond with the high number of lawmakers responding that they had contact with the organizations one hundred percent with PPRM and ninety two percent with NARAL. Several noted that NARAL does campaign work and runs a PAC. Others had contact with the Planned Parenthood health clinic in their district.
A much smaller number, twenty-three percent, of the legislators identified the League of Women Voters although all could articulate the organization's mission.
Less identification was made with the activity on the specific bills under study. Several members said they had developed a strong relationship with the individual who previously represented the League and could not identify the new lobbyist.
All the legislators had contact with the League. Several noted the organization's legislative newsletter which they receive during the session. Five had direct contact with a League chapter in their district although this contact was not related to the legislative efforts on HB 95-1329 or 95-1142.
Colorado NOW had the same name recognition among the lawmakers as the League although the organization was not associated with work at the capitol on either of the two bills studied. Most members did not accurately describe Colorado NOWs mission. The fewest lawmakers, thirty one percent, recalled having contact with NOW. Two legislators stated that they believe NOW does not lobby at the state level but focus on national legislation.
42


The Women's Lobby of Colorado was the least well recognized of all the feminist organizations. Only one member identified the organization and only four percent accurately described the mission. Despite this low name recognition, almost half the lawmakers, when asked directly, remembered some contact with WLC. This discrepancy may be accounted for by the fact that the WLC has been lobbying only three years. This is a relatively short time compared with the other organizations. WLC may have not had the history that sustains name recognition.
For all organizations, the lawmakers attempted to identity the organization by recalling the individual lobbyist who represented it at the state capitol. This happened most frequently with Planned Parenthood and on one occasion with NARAL. One legislator stated, "If I knew who the lobbyist was I would probably remember the group."
Perceptions oflnfluence
A second set of questions dealt with the lawmaker's perception of the feminist organization's ability to influence their position or their colleagues position on the two bills. The questions were asked for each organization. Overall, relatively few legislators felt that the feminist organizations had an influence on them or were instrumental in shaping their opinion on a bill
The perception of overall influence was highest for Planned Parenthood and NARAL. This was true even when lawmakers disagreed with the position of the two organizations. One lawmaker who was on the opposite side of the issue stated, "I guess they had influence because they won this one." Indeed, the marks may have been higher except many lawmakers stated that they were already supportive of the organization's position and did not need to be persuaded
Planned Parenthood and NARAL received higher marks for the influence the lawmakers perceived they had on other legislators. Some lawmakers indicated that, although they had already made up their mind, the information that NARAL and PPRM supplied was helpful in their effort to lobby other legislators.
Some lawmakers made a distinction between Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Planned Parenthood was said to be more effective because the organization deals with the broad continuum of reproductive health issues and not solely abortion. A few lawmakers described NARAL as "extreme" and, therefore, the information provided by the organization was subject to suspicion.
43


Thirty-one percent of the lawmakers stated that the League of Women Voters influenced their opinion. Two lawmakers offered that the League is the most effective of all the groups. Several felt that the nonpartisan nature of the organization lended to the credibility of its' position on issues. Others commented that the information provided was informative and factual. All the legislators reported having some contact with the League during the course of the legislative session.
Only one lawmaker indicated that Colorado NOW influenced their opinion. Several felt that the organization was more active at the national level and did not do much at the state capitol. Two reported that they have had contact with NOW members from their district.
No lawmaker responded that he or she was persuaded by the Women's Lobby. Several did offer a caveat that they did not have contact with the organization and thus were not in the position to be persuaded. One also stated that Women's Lobby has the best potential to influence because of the broad base of issues the organization works on.
The final series of questions dealt with the legislators feelings about the effectiveness the collective of feminist organizations that work at the state legislature. While the reports on the individual organizations were varied, the movement as a whole received fairly positive feedback. Most lawmakers indicated the importance of the voice of these organizations even if they did not agree on a bill.
A recurring theme with the lawmakers was that the issue of abortion and reproductive choice dominates what is perceived as "women's issues". Several felt that the identification of the groups with these issues limits their ability to be effective on other issues. The groups are branded as "pro-abortion" or "liberal".
Finally, several lawmakers noted the relationship between the women's organizations and women legislators. They felt that this was a reciprocal arrangement wherein they supported each other in their efforts at the statehouse.
The interviews with members of the General Assembly reveal that a majority of legislators feel that they personally were not persuaded by the feminist groups. These same individuals, however, believe that there colleagues were influenced. This response seems inconsistent. The legislators may have been attempting to counter-act a public perception that lawmakers are "bought" by special interests. None-the-less, in
44


referencing their colleagues the legislators credit some measure of influence to the feminist organizations.
45


Table 5-1 Summary of Legislator Interviews
No. of legislators responding: 13
Republican: 7 Female: 7 Senators: 4
Democrat: 6 Male: 6 Representatives: 9
Urban: 5 Suburban: 5 Rural: 3
Question Percentage of legislators responding postively
PERM Colo NOW WLC NARAL LWV
Identified Organization 80% 23% 0.08% 76% 23%
Correctly stated Mission 100% 33% 4% 100% 100%
Felt Influenced Opinion 33% 0.15% 0% 33% 31%
Felt Influenced Others 69% 0% 0% 69% 0.15%
Contacted by Organization 100% 31% 46% 92% 100%
46


CHAPTER 6
CONCLUSION
This thesis is based on the premise that resource mobilization is the most important determinate in the success of a social movement. A further premise is that feminist organizations are the primary vehicle by which the women's movement mobilizes resources to achieve its goals and objectives. Feminist interest groups are specifically aimed at achieving these goals through the political arena.
This thesis supports the validity of Resource Mobilization Theory. RM theory states that organization of resources is central to the success of a social movement. In essence, the internal organizational characteristics of leadership, membership, communication and funding are resources for the broader women's movement. The case studies demonstrate that the organizations influenced legislation when they effectively mobilized their collective resources. Although individuals may have felt strongly about an issue, the feminist interest groups provided the vehicle which enables the individual to affect the issue.
Prior research indicates a relationship between certain organizational characteristics and the ability of interest groups to achieve legislative outcomes. Specifically, these characteristics are: 1) Leaders who have experience with the issue and the legislative process 2) Members who possess high levels of education and income, time to participate and /or who possess some unique characteristic which supports the effort, 3) Communication systems that allow information to be disseminated quickly and which reach a substantial number of people and 4) Access to funds which can be directed to support the effort. An overview has been provided of five feminist organizations to the extent that they exhibit these organizational characteristics.
Legislative Outcome
When looking at the outcome of HB 95-1329, it is clear that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado NARAL were effective. The organizations achieved their goal of defeating HB 95-1329. The analysis also reveals
47


that these organizations possess the internal characteristics that are associated with success in legislative efforts. The organizational leaders were recognized as experts in the field and had several years of experience in the legislative process, PPRM brought enormous financial resources to the effort, the members had high levels of education and income as well as the time to participate and the organizations each had a sophisticated communication system that reached many people in a speedy manner.
Interviews with members of the Colorado General Assembly reveal that the PPRM and NARAL are both well known and were identified with the issue presented in HB 95-1329. A good percentage of the legislators felt that the organizations influenced lawmaker opinion on the bill. In general, the lawmakers found the organizations to be credible and well organized. Legislators specifically named the lobbyist representing Planned Parenthood and identified her as a leader on the bill.
In contrast, the legislative outcome of HB 95-1142 was not what the feminist organizations desired. The League of Women Voters, the Women's Lobby of Colorado and Colorado NOW were not effective in achieving the passage of HB 95-1142. The analysis of organizational characteristics reveal a mixed bag of strength and weakness.
The leadership of the organizations was inexperienced on both the substance of the bill and the legislative process. The Women's Lobby did, however, enlist the services of a professional lobbyist. Even combined, the organizations possessed limited financial resources. A strong communication system was available through the League of Women Voters but was not utilized on the specific legislation. Although the membership was educated and experienced, they lacked the time to become involved with the effort. The organizational commitment to the issue did not appear as strong as on other child support enforcement bills.
Concerning this legislation, lawmakers identified the League of Women as the most persuasive of the three groups working on the bill. The majority simply did not know the Women's Lobby and NOW was felt to be active on only national issues. Overall, the response from the legislators interviewed was that no single group was making a sustained effort to secure the passage of HB 95-1142.
Characteristics Supporting Success
The efforts with HB 95-1329 and HB 95-1142 happen in a broader political and social context and, thus, it is difficult to isolate and measure an exact correlation
48


between organizational characteristics and legislative outcomes. None-the-less, the case studies presented in this thesis present some important lessons.
Off all the organizational factors, leadership seemed to play a key role in the different legislative outcome. The leaders of the organizations opposing HB 95-1329 made the choice to employ all the organizational resources in a coordinated fashion. While the groups working on HB 95-1142 had resources at their disposal, those resources appear to have been underutilized.
This may be the case because, although the bill was deemed publicly to be a priority, interviews reveal that in practice it was of minimal importance. The result was that a lack of drive and interest pervaded the efforts on HB 95-1142. Additionally, the coalition involved with this effort was in the early stages of developing working relationships. Interviews reveal differing expectations of leadership and the other requirements to implement an action plan.
The case studies also speak to the importance of sustaining leadership at the statehouse. Whether a lobbyist was professional or volunteer, the lawmakers responded to the organizations in terms of the individual representing the group. When lawmakers knew the lobbyist, their perception of influence was increased. When the lawmakers did not know who was representing the organization, they assumed the group was not active at the state capitol.
Reflections from the Activists
Perhaps the most telling lessons come directly from the representatives of the feminist organizations. The point was made that the collective of feminist organizations are not the major influence at the capitol but that they are also not of minimal influence. The groups in this study were felt by the representatives be well known at the capitol and respected. The groups are most effective, it was noted, when they become allies of other women's groups and other issue groups.
The women's community is fairly well organized and, compared to other nonprofit constituencies, there is a good division of labor within the community. Those representatives working directly at the capitol felt the need for more coordination of efforts, such as planned meetings, to divide up tasks and update each other on the bills. It was perceived that some groups are "turfy" and do not want to share the spotlight.
49


It was also felt that the feminist organizations working at the state capitol are divided along issue lines. As one activist stated, "It is my sense that the community is organized around single issues such as choice and domestic violence and that there is not a broad based front." Another reflected, "I do not think that there is a sense of a women's community at the capitol. More than a women's community, I think legislators see a pro-choice community that they believe is liberal but generally credible."
Recommendations
This study has provided some key insights to what makes feminist groups successful at influencing public policy at the state legislature. The contrast between the efforts with HB 95-1329 and HB 95-1142 reveal some obvious directions the feminist groups should pursue to improve their performance.
1. Feminist Groups Should Work In Coalitions.
As observed earlier, the characteristics of the coalition are shaped by the characteristics of the individual organizations involved. Where one group is limited, another may provide support. This approach bolsters the efforts of all the groups involved and increases the likelihood of success.
When working in coalition, however, expectations and roles must be clearly defined. As was demonstrated in the effort with HB 95-1329, much can be achieved when the efforts are coordinated so that the strengths of individual groups are focused to support the overall effort. When this directed inventory does not occur, the result is a fragmented and inefficient effort. Such was the case with HB 95-1142.
2. Feminist Groups Should Communicate with Lawmakers Ahead of the Session.
Perception of influence increased among the lawmakers in this study when they had contact with the organization prior to the effort on the specific legislation. Such contact also appeared to help legitimize the group and thereby afford them access to the lawmaker. This was more the case when the contact made in advance of the session was from a constituent in the legislators district.
3. Feminist Groups Should Have Representation at the Capitol During the Session.
When an organization had a lobbyist at the capitol, the large majority of legislators interviewed made an association with the lobbyist and the organization. In
50


these cases, perception of influence was increased. When the organization did not utilize a lobbyist, the legislators assumed the group was not active at the capitol.
It did not seem to matter to the legislators if the lobbyist was a professional or a volunteer. The important factor for the legislators was that the organizations had a consistent and active presence. They felt confident in the group when they knew who was the spokesperson.
Feminist organizations have an incredible challenge when trying to influence policy outcomes at the state level. Many factors which contribute to the success or failure of their efforts, most of which are, for all intents and purposes, out of their control. The organizations do have some measure of control over the internal organizational characteristics that they employ in their legislative efforts.
This study has revealed the nature of internal organizational characteristics which lent support to specific efforts at the state house. This analysis supports previous scholars who observed the importance to interest groups of experienced leadership, diverse membership, strong communications and ample financial backing. Perhaps by maximizing these qualities, feminist organizations will have more success in their efforts to influence policy outcome.
51


APPENDIX
52


A. QUESTIONNAIRE FOR ORGANIZATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES
Background Information
How long has organization been in existence?
Number of Staff
Number of Board
Number of Volunteers
Organization's mission and goals
Background on Legislation
What was your organizations position and or goal on (HB 1142, 1329) during the 1995 legislative session?
Please Describe the events that transpired with your organization's effort to influence the outcome of HB 1142, 1329).
In what ways was your organization's goals for this legislation achieved or denied?
Membership Size and Composition
What constitutes a member of your organization?
Number of Members
Please characterize your membership according to the following categories:
- Level of Education
- Socioeconomic Status
- Geographic Distribution
- Time availability
- Professional Type
Are there any specific or unique resources your members bring to your agency.
Did you involve your members in the effort to influenced the outcome of (HB 1142,1329)? If so, in what ways?
How would you describe your members commitment level to the organization? To this issue presented in (HB 1142, 1329).
Leadership Style and Ability
53


Who are the key people that worked on (HB 1142, 1329)? Are they staff, members, board members?
How experienced are these individuals with the issue presented in the legislation? How many years have they been active with these issues?
Do these individuals have specific experience with the legislative process?
Financial Resources
What is the organizational budget?
What percentage of this budget funded the effort to influence (HB 1142,1329)?
Did the organization do fundraising for the specific effort around this legislation?
If so, what was the return rate on these efforts?
Communication Mechanisms
Please describe the system for internal communication about organizational efforts to influence (HB 1142,1329).
Who received this communication?
Were individuals asked to become active in the issue?
If so, what percentage of individuals responded to this request?
Did the organization communicate with other groups about the effort with (HB 1142, 1329)? If so, what groups and in what ways?
Was a request made for other organizations to take action? If so, what percentage responded to the request?
Summary Questions
Overall, how do you feel about your organization's performance in attempting to influence (HB 1179, 1329)?
What do you feel was the most important determining factors in the outcome of the legislation?
Any other comments?
54


B. LEGISLATOR QUESTIONNAIRE
Section One
The following questions relate to two specific pieces of legislation before the 1995 session.
House Bill 95-1329
Sponsors: Representative Anderson, Senators Coffman and Ament
This bill would have required that a doctor notify a minor's parent or legal guardian before providing abortion services to the minor. The bill passed through House State Affairs and Appropriations Committees and then lost on second reading in the House.
1. Are you familiar with the bill?
2. If applicable, what was your position on the bill?
3. Did you have contact with any women's groups working on this bill? YES NO
4. If Yes, Can you name the group(s)?
5. Approximately how often did they contact you?
6. In what ways did they communicate with you?
7. Did their efforts influence you? In what ways?
8. Do you feel their efforts influenced other members of the General Assembly? In what ways?
9. If No, do you have any feelings about the absence of contact?
House Bill 95-1142
Sponsors: Representative Adkins, Senator Lacy
This bill would have required that employers notify the Department of Labor within five weeks after an employee was newly hired with the goal of identifying parents not paying child support. The bill passed through the House and was postponed indefinitely in the Senate Business Affairs and Labor Committee.
1. Are you familiar with the bill?
2. If applicable, what was your position on the bill?
55


3. Did you have contact with any women's groups working on this bill? YES NO
4. If Yes, Can you name the group(s)?
5. Approximately how often did they contact you?
6. In what ways did they communicate with you?
7. Did their efforts influence you? In what ways?
8. Do you feel these organization's efforts influenced other members of the General Assembly? In what ways?
9. If No, How did you feel about the absence of contact.
Section Two
The following questions deal with specific organizations that are frequently active on issues before the Colorado General Assembly.
Are you familiar with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains?
1. If possible, please describe their overall mission and goals.
2. Has this organization had contact with you on any legislative items? If so, How?
3 .Do you feel the organization influenced your opinion on either bill? Yes No
4. Do you feel the organization influenced the opinion of other legislators on either bill? Yes No
5. How would you evaluate the organization's performance at the legislature? Why?
Are you familiar with Colorado NARAL or the National Abortion Rights Action League?
1. If possible, please describe their overall mission and goals.
2. Has this organization had contact with you on any legislative items? If so, How?
3. Do you feel the organization influenced your opinion on either bill? Yes No
4. Do you feel the organization influenced the opinion of other legislators on either bill? Yes No
5. How would you evaluate the organization's performance at the legislature? Why?
56


Are you familiar with the Womens Lobby of Colorado?
1. If possible, please describe their overall mission and goals.
2. Has this organization had contact with you on any legislative items? If so, How?
3. Do you feel the organization influenced your opinion on either bill? Yes No
4. Do you feel the organization influenced the opinion of other legislators on either bill? Yes No
5. How would you evaluate the organization's performance at the legislature? Why?
Are you familiar with the League of Women Voters?
1. If possible, please describe their overall mission and goals.
2. Has this organization had contact with you on any legislative items? If so, How?
3. Do you feel the organization influenced your opinion on either bill? Yes No
4. Do you feel the organization influenced the opinion of other legislators on either bill? Yes No
3. How would you evaluate the organization's performance at the legislature? Why?
Are you familiar with Colorado NOW or the National Organization for Women?
1. If possible, please describe their overall mission and goals.
2. Has this organization had contact with you on any legislative items?
3. Do you feel the organization influenced your opinion on either bill? Yes No
4. Do you feel the organization influenced the opinion of other legislators on either bill? Yes No
5. How would you evaluate the organization's performance at the legislature? Why?
Summary
1. Overall, how would you evaluate the effectiveness of the collective of women's organizations active at the Colorado General Assembly. Why?
2. Any final comments you would like to make?
57


C. REPRESENTATIVES FROM FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS
Connie Anderson
Legislative Liaison
Colorado National Organization for Women
Jenny Davies-Schley
Political Director
Colorado National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League
Kate Reinisch
Director of Public Affairs
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Chaer Robert
Chair, Issues Committee Women's Lobby of Colorado
Bill Vandenberg
Lobbyist
Colorado League of Women Voters
58


D. LEGISLATORS INTERVIEWED
Senators
Elsie Lacy (R)
Arapahoe County
Linda Powers (D)
Chaffee, Delta, Fremont, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Lake, Park, Pitkin Counties
Bob Schaffer (R)
Larimer County
Dottie Wham (R)
Denver County
Representatives
Debbie Allen (R)
Arapahoe County
Diana DeGette (D)
Denver County
Jim Dyer (D)
Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan Counties
Tim Foster (R)
Mesa County
Moe Keller (D)
Jefferson County
Martha Kreutz (R)
Arapahoe County
DanPrinster (D)
Mesa County
Todd Saliman (D)
Boulder County
Lany Schwarz (R)
Custer, Fremont, Pueblo, Teller Counties
59


REFERENCES
Bernstein, Paul, 1995. What Do Interest Groups. Social Movements, and Political Parties Do? A Synthesis, American Political Science Association.
Boneparth, Ellen & Stoper, Emily, Ed. 1988. Women, Policy and Power: Toward the Year 2000, Pergmon Press, New York.
Buechler, Steven M. 1993. "Beyond Resource Mobilization Theory? Emerging
Trends in Social Movement Theory," The Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 34,
No. 2, pp. 217-235.
Cigler, Allan J., & Burdett, A. Loomis, Ed. 1983 Interest Group Politics, Congressional Quarterly Press, Washington DC.
Costain, Anne N. & Costain, Douglas W. 1983. "The Women's Lobby: Impact of a Movement on Congress," Interest Group Politics, Congressional Quarterly Press, Washington, DC.
Costain, Anne N. 1988. "Representing Women: The Transition from Social Movement to Interest Group," Women Policy and Power: Toward the Year 2000, Boneparth & Stoper, Ed. Pergman Press, pp.33-42.
Costain, Anne N. 1992. Inviting Women's Rebellion: A Political Process
Interpretation of the Women's Movement, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore MD.
Dexter, Lewis Anthony, 1970. Elite and Specialized Interviewing, Northwestern University Press, Evanston.
Ferree, Myra Marx & Martin, Patricia Yancey, Ed. 1995. Feminist Organizations: Harvest of the New Women's Movement, Temple University Press, Philadelphia PA.
Ferree, Myra Marx & Hess, Beth B. 1994. Controversy and Coalition: The New Feminist Movement Across Three Decades of Change, Rev. Ed.T Twayne Publishers, New York NY.
60


Hrebenar, Ronald J. & Scott, Ruth K., 1990 Interest Group Politics in America, 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliff NJ.
Hrebenar, Ronald J. & Thomas, Clive S. 1987 Interest Group Politics in the American West, University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City UT.
Katzenstein, Mary Fainsod, 1995, "Discursive Politics and Feminist Activism in the Catholic Church," Feminist Organizations: Harvest of the New Women's Movement, Temple University Press, Philadelphia PA
Gelb, Joyce and Palley, Marian Lief. 1979. "Women and Interest Group Politics: A Comparative Analysis of Federal Decision Making," The Journal of Politics, Vol. 49 pp. 362-391.
McAdam, Doug, 1982. Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency. 1930- 1970, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, EL.
Mundo, Philip A. 1992. Interest Groups: Cases and Characteristics, Nelson Hall Publishers, Chicago IL.
Touraine, Alain, 1985. "An Introduction to the Study of Social Movements," Social Research, Vol. 52, No. 4 (Winter) pp. 749-787.
Weiss, Robert Stuart, 1944. Learning from Strangers: The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies, The Free Press, New York, NY.
61


Full Text

PAGE 1

CHARACTERISTICS OF COLORADO FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS AND INFLUENCE ON STATE LEGISLATION CASE STUDIES FROM THE 1995 GENERAL ASSEMBLY by Ruth Aponte B.A., University ofNorthem Colorado, 1988 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Political Science 1996

PAGE 2

This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Ruth Aponte has been approved by Jana Everett Lucy Ware Date

PAGE 3

Aponte, Ruth (M.A., Political Science) Characteristics of Colorado Feminist Organizations and Influence on State Legislation: Case Studies from the 1995 Colorado General Assembly Thesis directed by Professor Jana Everett ABSTRACT The thesis explores the relationship between organizational characteristics of Colorado feminist organizations and their success in influencing the outcome of state legislation. Five feminist organizations are studied that sought to influence legislation dealing with reproductive rights or child support enforcement in the 1995 Colorado General Assembly. A summary of the events that transpired around two specific pieces of legislation is presented as case studies. The case studies focus on four organizational characteristics as they affect the ability of feminist organizations to influence the outcome of the legislation. The characteristics are: !)membership size and composition, 2) leadership style and ability, 3) financial resources and 4) communication mechanisms. The case studies include interviews with activistsand members of the Colorado General Assembly. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. iii iallaEverett

PAGE 4

CONTENTS CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................... 1 Purpose of the Study ...................................................................... 1 Scope ofthe Study ......................................................................... I Limitations of the Study ................................................................. 2 Research Methods .......................................................................... 3 Independent Variables ........................................................ 3 Dependent Variables .......................................................... .3 Santpling .............................................................................. 4 Conclusion ..................................................................................... 4 2. REVIEW OF TliE LITERATURE ....................................................... 6 Resource Mobilization Theory ........................................................ 6 Criticism of Resource Mobilization Theory ...................................... 8 Application of Resource Mobilization in This Analysis ..................... 9 Organizational Characteristics ........................................................ 1 0 Case Studies ofFeminist Organizations .......................................... 11 Conclusion .................................................................................... 14 3. ASSESS:MENT OF FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS ......................... l6 Overview ofFeminist Organizations ................................................ l6 Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains ............................. 16 National Organization for Women, Colorado Chapter ................ I? Women's Lobby of Colorado ..................................................... 17 Colo. Natn'l Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League .... 17 Colorado League ofWomen Voters .......................................... 18 Organizational Characteristics ......................................................... 18 Membership .............................................................................. 18 Leadership ................................................................................ 22 Financial Resources .................................................................. 24 Communication Mechanisms ..................................................... 25 iv

PAGE 5

Conclusion ...................................................................................... 29 Table 3-1 Internal Characteristics By Organization .......................... .31 4. LEGISLATIVE CASE STUDIES ......................................................... 33 House Bill95-1329, Parental Notice Act.. ...................................... 34 Organizational Characteristics that Influenced Legislative Outcome ............................................................. 35 Leadership ......................................................................... 3 5 Communications Systems ................................................... 36 Membership ....................................................................... 36 Financial ............................................................................. 36 Other Factors Influencing Legislative Outcome ...................... 36 House Bill95-1142, Employer Reporting ofNew Hires ................. .36 Organizational Characteristics that Influenced Legislative Outcome ............................................................. 38 Leadership ......................................................................... 38 Communications Systems .................................................. .38 Membership ....................................................................... 38 Financial ............................................................................. 39 Other Factors Influencing Legislative Outcome ........................ .39 Conclusion ............................................................................. 3 9 5. LEGISLATOR INTERVIEWS: MEMBERS OF THE COLORADO GENERAL ASSEl\1BL Y ..................................................................... 41 Name Recognition and Awareness ................................................. 42 Perceptions of Influence ................................................................ 43 Table 5-1 Summary of Legislator Interviews ................................. .46 6. CONCLUSION .................................................................................. 47 Legislative Outcome ...................................................................... 4 7 Characterisitics Supporting Success ............................................... 48 Reflections from the Activists ........................................................ 49 Recommendations .......................................................................... 50 v

PAGE 6

APPENDIX A QUESTIONNAIRE FOR ORGANIZATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES ....................................................................... 52 B. LEGISLATOR QUESTIONNAIRE ................................................... 55 C. REPRESENTATIVES FROM FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS ........ 58 D. LEGISLATORS INTERVIEWED ..................................................... 59 REFERENCES ............................................................ ; ....................................... 60 vi

PAGE 7

CHAPTER l INTRODUCTION Purpose ofthe Study This thesis examines how specific organizational characteristics affect the ability of feminist organization's to influence state public policy issues. As the review of the literature will reveal, past research supports the hypothesis that the existence of certain internal organizational characteristics is related to success in influencing public policy. The following research question is investigated: Is there a correlation between the degree to which Colorado feminist interest groups possess certain organizational characteristics and their success in influencing the outcome of state legislation? The analysis presented in this thesis contributes to knowledge about the impact of internal organizational dynamics on the ability to influence public policy. In this way the work contributes to the broader understanding of social movement impact on public policy. The work also provides a historical record of the activity and internal workings of feminist organizations in the 1995 Colorado General Assembly. Additionally, this work may be used as a tool to provide members of feminist organizations with a guide for reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of their movement in addressing public policy issues. Of all the variables affecting policy outcome, members of feminist groups have, perhaps, the most control over internal organizational characteristics. This thesis may shed some light in an area where feminists are in the best position to create change. By using this knowledge they may become more effective in their efforts to achieve justice and equality for all women. Scope ofthe Study The five feminist organizations studied sought to influence legislation dealing with reproductive rights or child support enforcement in the 1995 Colorado General Assembly. A summary of the events that transpired around two specific pieces of 1

PAGE 8

legislation will be presented as case studies. In one case the feminist organizations achieved their goal and in the other case they did not. The case studies focus on four organizational characteristics as they affect the ability of the feminist groups to influence the outcomes of the legislation. The characteristics examined are 1) membership size and composition, 2) leadership style and ability, 3) financial resources and 4) communication mechanisms. The following sources of data were used: organizational records, newspaper coverage of the legislation and interviews with organization activists and with members of the Colorado General Assembly. The analysis in thesis proceeds with the assumption that the feminist organizations studied are part of a much broader national and global social movement. Social movements are defined as collective efforts by a large number of people to bring about or halt change. As articulated by Anne Costain (1983,192), the goals of the women's movement are as follows: The women's movement, like most social movements, is a community of belief which links millions of Americans together in an effort to achieve social, economic and political equality for women. This movement, while in a constant state of change and growth, has at its' core the commitment to forwarding women's equality and empowerment. Limitations of the Study Not many scholars have explored the relationship between internal variables and success in influencing public policy. In reality, effectiveness is a difficult thing to isolate and measure analytically. A review of the literature reveals that political scientists have found it hard to determine the amount of influence exerted by an interest group or social movement. Effectiveness escapes simple conceptualization and measurement. The thesis therefore, is an examination of the relationship between organizational characteristics and legislative outcomes. It cannot be proven that organizational characteristics are the primary reason for a bill's passage or defeat. Accordingly, the case studies include an overview of other factors, such as the type of change sought and the external political climate, that may have contributed to the outcome of the legislation. 2

PAGE 9

Research Methods Independent Variables The four characteristics that have emerged from the literature review as internal organizational characteristics associated with success or failure in lobbying efforts are the independent variables for the analysis. These characteristics were also chosen because of the authors personal experience in efforts to influence state policy. In review, the four variables examined are: The capacity to communicate with and activate supportive individuals and organizations. The existence of a substantially large membership base that is diverse and committed to take action. The availability of financial resources to support the effort to influence state policy. The level of experience and expertise of staff and/or volunteers in negotiating the legislative process and in understanding the policy issue. Assessment of the independent variables is done in the following ways: 1. Completion of a general inventory, based on organizational materials, that explores the extent to which the organization possess or lack each of the four variables. 2. Utilization of interviews with organizational representatives to obtain further information about the four characteristics. These interviews also allow for expression of perceptions about any variables the participant deems important to the legislative outcomes. Dependent Variables The first indicator of the influence of the feminist organizations on public policy issues will involve a comparison of the organization's goals for the specific piece oflegislation with the outcome. Did the legislation pass or fail as the group desired? 3

PAGE 10

Legislator perceptions about an organization's effectiveness--on the specific legislation and overall--will be a second indicator of the dependent variable, the influence of feminist organizations on public policy .. The interviews will focus on group performance around two specific pieces of legislation before the 1995 Colorado General Assembly. House Bill 95-1329 Parental Notice Act. This bill would have required that a doctor notify a female minor's parent or legal guardian before perfonning and abortion. House Bill 95-1142 Employer Reporting of New Hires. This bill would have required that employers notifY the Department of Labor within five weeks after an employee was newly hired. The goal was to locate quickly parents negligent of paying child support enforcement and secure payment. The bills were chosen because of the substantial action taken on both during the 1995 session and because several feminist organizations were involved in efforts to influence the legislative outcomes. Sampling The interview sample is both random and purposive. In total, 15%, or 15 members, of the Colorado General Assembly were requested to do an interview. Ten legislators were randomly chosen. The other five were selected because they were leaders on the issue or they represent a perspective not present in the random sample (such as rural or suburban districts). Two of the fifteen legislators denied an interview leaving total interview sample of 13 or 13% of the members of the Colorado General Assembly. Conclusion The material in this theses is presented in a manner intended to build upon itself In Chapter Two, a review of the literature explains the relevance of resource mobilizations as the operative theory for the thesis and identifies the organizational characteristics used for evaluation. An assessment of the five feminist organizations-Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado National Abortion Rights Action League, the Women's Lobby of Colorado, the National Organization for 4

PAGE 11

Women, Colorado Chapter and the League of Women Voters-is provided in Chapter Three. This assessment provides an overview of the individual organizations and draws comparisons between them for each organizational characteristic. The case studies of the effort to influence the two bills are presented in Chapter Four. These detail the activities involved in the organizational efforts and explore to what extent each organizational characteristic was brought to bear. In Chapter Five, the perceptions of the members of the Colorado General Assembly are discussed. The interviews are analyzed for commonalties and general consensus. All these elements are brought together in Chapter Six in which general observations and conclusions are discussed. 5

PAGE 12

CHAPTER2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE It is important to put in context this study of feminist organizations attempting to influence state legislative outcomes. Feminist organizations have been classified as part of the social movement of the sixties (Ferree 1995, 6). Social movement theory explores how individuals come together to pursue collective action and achieve social change. Most social movement give rise to a generation of routinized political practices (Touraine 1985, 150). In the ca.Se of feminism, the movement has produced, among other practices, interest group activism. In sum, contemporary feminist organizations can credibly be characterized as political interest groups that have emerged from and remain immersed in a broader social movement. Given this relationship, two schools of knowledge can be applied to the study of feminist organizations attempting to influence state legislative policy: social movement theory and interest group theory. Within this body of literature are the basic theoretical tenets that provide the foundation to this study. Resource Mobilization Theory The resource mobilization (RM) theory of social movements is the framework used to analyze the research question. This theory has been the dominant sociological modelfor explain social movements since the 1970s. It replaced previous models, called classical, that were based on social-psychological explanations of collective action by asserting political and organizational determinants (McAdam 1982, 6). Classical models of social movement were based on an assumption of pluralism. All groups in society compete to satisfy their interests on a level political playing field. The system is open and responsive and one groups does not have more control over the system than another. Under this assumption, the choice of individuals to engage in collective action outside of the institutionalized political system is deemed irrational. The only explanation for such behavior must be that participants have some abnormal 6

PAGE 13

psychological profile or they are social isolationists. Social movements. therefore, are crude attempts by individuals to cope with psychological issues. This model was seen as insufficient by many scholars. The major criticisms of the classical model were that it did not account for the general level of unease constantly present in society, it remained focused on individual discontent without explaining how such discontent is transformed into collective action, it relied on a breaking point of dissatisfaction which could not be measured and it denied the relative inequality of groups competing within the institutionalized political arena (McAdam, 1982). In contrast, resource mobilization is an elite theory. That is, a basic assumption is that groups in society differ markedly in the amount of political power they wield. The traditional political arena is restricted to those who have wealth and are already powerful. Powerful groups can exclude powerless groups from this arena with little fear of reprisal. In this scenario, social movements are a rational attempt to pursue collective interests in the he face of a closed and coercive system. The two basic tenants of resource mobilization theory are: Discontent is more or less constant over time and does not by itself provide a sufficient cause for a social movement. The key factor that enables the emergence of social movements is the amount of social resources available to unorganized but aggrieved groups that enable them to forward a collective demand for change. Resource mobilization diverges from classical theory because it views the genesis of social movements as political and organizational instead of psychological. It attributes rationality to movement participants by acknowledging differences in equality and position of political players and it takes into account external groups influence on a movement. The assumption in resource mobilization theory that is most directly related to this thesis is the assertion that social movements are dependent upon a combination of fonnal and informal groups for success. In this view, the principal problems of most movements are organizational (Costain 1992, 7). Organization is central to the mobilization of resources. Control over actual and potential resources is a: more important determinant than grievances, ideology and the informal organization of social community to precipitating and supporting successful collective action 7

PAGE 14

(Buechler 1993, 221). In the absence of the minimal coordination and direction that organizations provide, collective is impossible (McAdam, 1982). Resource mobilization for the women's movement occurs within feminist organizations. In the words ofFerree and Martin (1995, 11), feminist organizations are a form of movement mobilization in the present and a resource for feminist mobilization in the future. Indeed, the most important outcome of any wave of social movement mobilization may be the institutionalized resources it provides for future mobilizations. In short, feminist orgaruzations are the incubators of the movement. Feminist groups mobilize resources to achieve an array of goals, identified as important to the movement. They may, for example, provide support or protective services or foster the development and dissemination of ideas through books, magazines and other forms of media. Resource mobilization also occurs in feminist organizations to influence political elites to support or oppose particular legislation, regulation or policy directions (Katzenstien 1995, 35). Criticisms of Resource Mobilization Over time RM theory has come under scrutiny and attempt have been made to strengthen its basic assumptions. Doug McAdam (1982) merges insights between sociology and political science to arrive at a variation ofRM theory that he calls Political Process Theory. Political Process diverges from RM theory on the subject of elite control over the movement and the capabilities attributed to the movement base. McAdam contends that the key elements that allow a social movement to occur are 1) expanded political opportunities, 2) existence of a network of organizations to facilitate the movement and 3) the phenomena of cognitive liberation -the beliefby a large enough group of people that change is needed and possible to achieve through group action. In promoting Political Process Theory, McAdam finds fault with RM theory. The model is only applicable to one kind of social movement or social movement organizations that are similar to traditional interest groups and that are interested in only limited reforms. The model does not work well for groups that resort to noninstitutional forms of political participation. 8

PAGE 15

RM theory assumes that the only source of increased resources to the movement will come from non-indigenous, establishment funding sources. This magnifies the importance of elite support and diminishes the political capabilities of the mass. Additionally, the definition of resources is elusive and when defined has been so broad as to become meaningless. It is difficult, if not impossible, to measure the increase in resources that allow the movement to emerge. Finally, the theory does not take into account the importance of ideology, culture and collective perception about a social condition. Other scholars have criticized RM theory for .its theoretical silences. Steven M. Buechler (1993) states that RM theory ignores some important movement processes because they do not fit into it's conceptual framework. Specifically, the theory denies the important of collective identity and ideology and of movement diversity and culture in shaping, instigating and sustaining a movement. These factors, he argues, are particularly important in the development of the women's movement. Application ofResource Mobilization in This Analysis For all the criticisms of resource mobilization theory, it is still the most appropriate framework for this thesis which examines organizational characteristics and influence on state legislation. Resource Mobilization represents the best thinking to date about the dynamics of social movements. E;ven critics, while finding room for debate, concede that. "there is no clearly defined contender for theoretical dominance" (Buechler 1993, 217). Additionally, the acknowledged strengths of the theory are well suited to the issues studied in this paper. McAdam (1982, 24) states that RM theory applies best to organizations that participate in the institutionalized political process. The five feminists organizations reviewed in this work are analyzed in their attempts to influence bills before the state legislature. Although he feels it falls short on many levels, Buechler concedes that the RM framework is quite helpful in understanding the inter-organizational dynamics of the women's' movement and other movements. The focus of the theory is on the organizational or meso level versus the micro (individual motive) or the macro (historical origins and political opportunity) levels. Again, this orientation is well suited for the focus of this paper: 9

PAGE 16

Organizational Characteristics Organizational characteristics are one of the many types of variables that influence policy outcomes. Factors beyond the organization's control, for example, the type of policy change sought or the prevailing social, political and economic climate, may have great impact on the success or failure of a policy initiative. Such broad external variables are beyond the scope of this research. While recognizing that there is a larger picture, this thesis will focus on internal organizational variables that influence policy outcomes. The study of these variables is important because it adds to the understanding of internal organizational dynamics. Arguably, organizations have more control over internal factors. Study of the relationship of internal factors to policy outcome will provide important information for individuals involved in feminist organizations. Observations from both political science and sociology reveal similar findings on the internal dynamics of political organizations. This is so much the case that one scholar has called for the elimination of any distinction between what political scientists call interest groups and sociologists call social movement organizations. Paul Bernstein (1995, 1) argues that, "there is no meaningful difference between the organizations commonly labeled 'interest groups' and those called 'social movement organizations"'. When writing about interest groups and social movements organizations, scholars often fail to define them withany specific criteria. When they are defined, the meaning can be applicable to both phenomena. The distinction between "interest groups" and "social movement organizations" which initially seems so obvious to those .who study politics, does not exist, in the sense that no one has developed a convmcmg basis--theoretical or empirical--for distinguishing consistently between the two. Rather than continue trying to make the distinction, therefore, we should simply say that there are a variety of nonparty organizations which try to influence political outcomes (Bernstein 1995, 5). For the purpose of this paper, interest groups and social movement organizations shall be treated as one in the same. 10

PAGE 17

As noted in the not many scholars have explored the relationship between internal variables and organizational success in influencing public policy. In reality, influence .is a difficult thing to isolate and measure analytically. Areview of the literature reveals that political scientists have found it hard to determine the amount of influence exerted by an interest group. Effectiveness escapes simple conceptualization and measurement. For one approach to measuring influence, scholars have rec:ognized the benefits of the qualitative interview to record the observations, perceptions and opinions of individuals involved in political action. Weiss (1994, 3) defends the value of qualitative interviews by asserting the 11coherence, depth and density of the material each respondent provides ., Use of the reputational analysis approach often provides a fuller understanding of the experience of the actors and, thus a clearer picture of the action. Philip Mundo (1992, 233) also uses qualitative interviews in an attempt to address the problems associated with measuring influence. In several case studies of interest groups attempting to influence legislation dealing with labor, environment and business issues, he conducts interviews with key people responsible for carrying out the policy campaign. In doing so, he argues it is possible to think of effectiveness from the perspective of the group. Are members and leaders satisfied with the ability of the group to achieve it's policy goals? A more complete understanding of organizational characteristics leads to a sharper assessment of the effectiveness characterized in this way. Knowing members motivations, policy goals, how decisions are made and the strategies used to achieve them allows for a more broadly defined evaluation of effectiveness. With this approach he employs reputational analysis to arrive at conclusions about the effectiveness and influence. Case Studies ofFeminist Organizations Research on interest groups provides some agreement on key elements of organizations. Hrebenar and Scott (1990, 19) assert that the 11lohbying potential of any group is determined largely by the group's characteristics and resources." They identify three crucial organizational characteristics related to lobbying success. 11

PAGE 18

1 Membership Composition The interest group is both sustained and limited by the membership. Factors of importance are numbers, wealth and education levels, time availability, experience, geographic distribution and commitment level. 2 Financial Resources This is perhaps the single most useful resource an interest group can possess because it can be converted into any other resource. This includes existing financial resources and the ability to raise money. 3 Quality of Leadership and Staff Leadership is the key catalyst that converts the interest group's internal resources into political clout. Leadership is situational and should be appropriate for the needs of the organization. Several scholars have completed case studies of successful and unsuccessful lobbying efforts which together reveal some common organizational characteristics of feminist organizations. These case studies reveal that, in terms of lobbying efforts, feminist organizations have characteristics very similar to what has been known as traditional interest groups. An early work by Joyce Gelb and Marian LiefPalley (1979, 362) found that, "despite general support from women's groups, lobbying efforts by feminists have become functionally specialized along issue related lines." In their analysis of four efforts by feminist organizations to implement specific legislation, they identified six elements which enable effectiveness in influencing public policy in the United States. Successful groups must maximize their.image of broad based support in order to demonstrate potential electoral impact to decision.makers. Successful groups must select a narrow issue which does not challenge fundamental values and which does not divide potential constituencies among competing groups. A policy network must be mobilized to work in conjunction with the group's goals in order to secure access to decision makers. Successful groups must provide technical and informational resources to Congress members and bureaucrats at all stages of the policy making process. 12

PAGE 19

Successful groups must be willing to compromise both in dealing with constituent groups demands and in the political process. Success must be defined in terms of increments of change rather than total victory. Of these six elements, only two can be defined as organizational characteristics. Number three, the ability to mobilize a policy network, is directly related to communications systems. Number four, the provision of technical and informational resources, speaks to leadership style and expertise. The other four rules can be categorized as components of political strategy. Anne Costain (Costain 1988, 33) explores the transition of the women's movement from the-I960s to the 1980s. She limits her examination to Washington DC-based groups with a national focus that are engaged in a systematic effort to influence public policy. She arrived at these findings, in part, by conducting interviews with representatives from these groups and Congress members and their staff. Costain argues three external and strategic factors helped the women's movement establish an initial presence on Capitol Hill. Major challges in the external political environment which increased congressional an public support for women's issues. Aid and assistance of pre-existing organized women's groups who were not focused on policy change. The connection to Congress members, particularly female members, who were supportive and active on women's movement issues. Costain also drew upon this work to identify internal factors influencing policy outcome: Namely, the 11routinized and smoothly functioning cooperative networks of women's groups supporting women's issues (Costaln, 1988, 39). Her interviews with feminist activists revealed virtual agreement that there was an efficient lobbying effort that could be mobilized on short notice in support of a broad range ofwomen's issues .. Ellen Boneparth and Emily Stoper (1988, I 0-14) present several factors that they argue are essential to the success of a lobbying organization. They are: The possession of financial resources. 13

PAGE 20

A process for communication with group members. A process for communication with the general public. Political Contacts. The establishment of a presence in policy making institutions. Three of these factors, possession of financial resources and processes for communication with .group members and the public, can be classified as internal characteristics. The other two are again components of political strategy. Boneparth and Stoper additionally argue that the successful lobby organization requires individuals who have substantive expertise and who are highly knowledgeable about the intricacies of the policy making process (1988, II). Conclusion The literature on interest groups offers a good base of descriptive studies on the internal characteristics of interest groups. There has been very little analysis of the relationship between these internal characteristics and the ability of an interest group to influence policy outcome. There is no attempt to measure analytically such a relationship and scholars admit the inherent problems with an attempt to conduct such an analysis. The primary research method to analyze interest group effectiveness has, therefore, been case studies of specific interest groups and specific lobbying efforts. These case studies rely extensively on participant interviews to assess perception of effectiveness. Scholars who have studied feminist lobbying organizations have primarily used a broad stroke in describing the socio-economic and political factors that attributed to the success or failure of specific lobbying efforts. There is, however, found in these case studies some analysis of internal characteristics. A review of the collective work on interest groups generally and feminist groups specifically reveals some common themes. Four internal characteristics emerge that are associated with success or failure in influencing policy. They are: 14

PAGE 21

An efficient and comprehensive communication system that allows the interest group to work in coalition other feminist organizations. An active and diverse membership base to support the lobbying efforts. A stable base of financial support. Leaders who possess a highly sophisticated level of knowledge on the issues and the political process. This thesis will analyze these characteristics as they are demonstrated in feminist organizations seeking to influence specific legislation before the 1995 Colorado General Assembly. 15

PAGE 22

CHAPTER3 ASSESSMENT OF FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS This chapter will explore the four internal organizational variables-membership composition, leadership experience, financial resources and communication systems--in five feminist organizations seeking to influence policy outcome of bills before the 1995 Colorado General Assembly. A chart outlining these characteristics by organization is provided on page 29. The information for the analysis was obtained through interviews with organizational representatives and a review of organizational documents such as newsletters, fact sheets and budget materia11 A brief introduction to the five organizations follows. Overview ofFeminist Organizations Planned Parenthood ofthe Rocky Mountains Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) is a large, very well established and well funded organization that has a long and successful history of working on reproductive rights issues at the Colorado General Assembly. PPRM has been in Colorado for seventy seven years. The agency's primary function is to provide reproductive health care services, including abortion, in Colorado and across the Rocky Mountain region. The public affairs program is a secondary focus with the goal of working to promote public policy that guarantees access to reproductive health care to all citizens. The public affairs program has numerous staff and includes a professional lobbyist. 1These materials were reviewed in the offices of the respective organizations where they remain on file. 16

PAGE 23

National Organization for Women, Colorado Chapter The Colorado Chapter of the National Organization for Women has been less active in recent years than when it was first established in the early 1970s. The organization's mission is to work for the benefit of women and children by making their lives more economically and politically equitable. This is done by working to put women in elected office and key policy making positions and by working in the legislative arena. The organization is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit-contributions are not tax deductible because it is established solely for political advocacy. An affiliation with a 501( c )(3) called the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund allows for tax deductible contributions to education and legal issues. The agency has a downtown office but works on a small budget and retains no professional staff. Most of the business operations and all the programs--including legislative affairsare carried on by volunteers. The affiliation with the national office based in Washington DC affords the Colorado NOW considerable name recognition and they have been successful in securing substantial media coverage. Women's Lobby of Colorado The Women's Lobby of Colorado (WLC) is a very young organization that has only been working at the state capitol for two years. The organization formed in 1993 out of a desire by several activists to have more representation on women's issues at the state capitol. WLC has had a professional lobbyist at the capitol for two sessions. The organization's stated mission is, "To bring about a better, freer and more caring society and to create systemic change that will improve the lives of women in Colorado." In practice that means lobbying at the Colorado legislature on behalf of women. Eighty percent of the budget is used to hire two professional contract lobbyists. WLC does not have an office or any other professional or support staff. The Women's Lobby of Colorado has both individual and organizational members. A long-term goal of the WLC is to become a lobbying arm for many existing women's organizations. Current organizational membership includes the League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado NOW and Colorado NARAL. Colorado National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) Colorado NARAL is viewed as the political arm of the prochoice community. The organization has been in Colorado for 15 to 20 years using the political process to guarantee every woman access to a safe and legal abortion and to the full range of 17

PAGE 24

reproductive health care services. This activity extends beyond the legislative session as the agency does a tremendous amount of political work through the entire year. NARAL conducts candidate surveys and provides endorsements, funding and volunteers to support pro-choice contenders. Three out of four professional staff are involved to some extent in political issues. The organization does not retain a professional lobbyist. Colorado League of Women Voters Recently, the national League ofWomen Voters turned 75 and the Colorado Chapter is 68 years old. Although the League is lmown as a women's organization and work on a substantial number of women's issues, the mission is actually a much broader one of promoting civic participation and securing open and democratic processes for government. The League seeks to educate Colorado voters and to get them involved in policy matters impacting their communities. Stated goals are promoting an informed electorate and influencing public policy. The organization has a lobbyist and Administrative director. Both these positions vary from full time to part time depending on the time of year (such as during the legislative session) and there is also part time clerical support. Organizational Characteristics Membership As we have learned in chapter 2, membership is an important element in the successful lobbying efforts of interest groups. Hrebenar and Scott (1990) argue that a crucial characteristic of a group is the unique resources found among the membership. In general, attractive qualities in a membership base include high education and income levels, diverse geographic representation, high time availability and a strong commitment to the organization or the issue. A large number of members is also an asset. There is considerable variation in the composition of membership among the five feminist organizations. Planned Parenthood does not claim to have members per se and, thus, is not described as a membership organization. Individuals who give money, attend events or participate in public affairs functions are classified as supporters or donors. The agency has approximately 7,000 supporters. None-the-less, the organization possesses the strongest combination of indicators of useful membership. 18

PAGE 25

PPRM describes their supporters as being extremely educated with most having at least one college degree. Their socioeconomic status is upper middle class and most have a professional and managerial background. The geographic distribution is primarily Metro Denver; however, the agency has twenty seven clinics around the state and thus has a small statewide political presence. The supporters also have a good amount of time available. Many supporters come from single-income families where the man works and the women is able to volunteer her time. In terms of unique characteristics, PPRM describes their support base as primarily Republican and conservative. The agency also has access to doctors and other health care providers who bring a unique perspective to the table. PPRM describes the supporter commitment to the organization as "mid_level". Members also support and give money to other groups. If it came down to PPRM and another organization, PPRM is not sure that the agency would be a first priority. Supporters are felt to be less committed to choice issues generally than, for example, NARAL members. NARAL is single focused. Planned Parenthood is a service provider that deals with the broad spectrum of family planning issues. NOW defines a member as those individuals who pay dues. It is felt that NOW is a very inclusive organization. As Anderson stated, "Our membership is pretty middle of the road. The stereotype that NOW members are all bra burning lesbians is wrong. We try to be reasonable." The organization has approximately 3,500 to 4,000 members statewide. NOW describes the members as having, overall, a fairly high education level. Most have finished at least high school and some college. Their socioeconomic status is middle class and there seems to be a high concentration in the service industryeducation, nursing etc. The members are located. primarily in Metro Denver with strong chapters in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Durango, Fort Collins and Boulder. NOW is also connected at the national level. The time availability varies with the person, chapter and activity. The members will act when asked. Spread across the membership the time involvement is minutes per person but the organization also has volunteers-Board members and the coordinator--who donate many hours oftheirtime each week. In tenns of unique characteristics, NOW describes their members as sharing a common base for understanding the struggle of women in society. The members have personal.experience with this struggle and therefore have a high level of sensitivity. The feeling is that the members were very influential with elected officials whom they 19

PAGE 26

helped get into office. Those chapters that did electoral work have more impact with legislators. The membership commitment level to the NOW is described as fairly high. People drop and in and drop out but they always remain involved. Their commitment lasts over the years. The Women' Lobby of Colorado considers a member an individual who pays dues. The base ranges from $25 to $35 for individuals and $100 for organizations. Organizations do not exert any special power. Robert stated that "the way to get power in the Women's Lobby is to become involved." The organization has approximately 210 individual members and 10 to 12 organizational members. The WLC describes the members as being primarily college educated. They are middle class to upper class There is a mix of professional women and many are retired. The members are primarily located in East and South Central Denver. WLC also has a strong and active group in Colorado Springs. The Women's Lobby feels that the members have virtually no time available. It has taken the organization some work to secure a stable group of people with the time for the Board. The WLC feels the members are unique because most are activists who have had experience working in other women's organizations. They have residency in districts and are active in the local community. They possess a certain level of civic sophistication to appreciate the need for a women's lobby. Many are already connected to a women's group and activists before they come to the WLC. In terms of the members' commitment level to the organization, the WLC feels that people would rather be donors than active members. The members have no time to become involved because they are active elsewhere and have a primary commitment to another organization. NARAL considers a member of the organization to be people who give money at a specific level--$3 5 is the basic level. This is distinct from donors who are people who come to events or have sporadic contact and are not recruited through direct solicitation. The organization has approximately 5,000 to 6,000 members. The members are described as having at least an undergraduate degree, middle class and as representing a broad range of occupations from stay at home moms to construction workers to lawyers. Overall, there are slightly more professionals 20

PAGE 27

involved than other occupations. The majority ofNARAL's members are in Denver and Boulder, but the organization has at least two members in every House district. The time availability of the members is quite varied. Some people volunteer 30 to 40 hours a week and some make one phone call a month. Others give the organization money because they cannot give time. NARAL describes the members as activists. They have political savvy and are interested in political action. This is a different role than PPRM whose members are seen as politically softer. The commitment level of the members to NARAL also varies and involvement depends on the individual. For the League of Women Voters a member is someone who makes a $45 financial contribution. There is an expectation that the members become involved in the chapters and in the organization as a whole. The League has approximately 1,500 members. The League characterizes the members as having a high level of education with most possessing an undergraduate degree and a good percentage with advanced college degrees. The socioeconomic status is largely middle class with mostly current and former professionals. The League has very good involvement and representation across the state. There are 15 local groups all over the state, including the Eastern plains and small pockets on the Western Slope. The time availability of League members is also good. The members are very active and their is an expectation that people will contribute their time. In terms of unique resources the League feels that the members are extremely committed andinvolved, more than is so for other nonprofit, grassroots groups. People make the investment to become volunteer experts on a particular issue. This is true on both a statewide level and in their own communities. The members are older and wiser members of their communities who are very respected and can provide a unique perspective on the issues. They have worked and been parents. Additionally, the members do a very detailed study of the issues to arrive at a very well thought out and cogent position. In terms of membership, there are some similarities between the organizations. All organizations members have some college and all are at least middle class. All organizations are heavily represented in the Metro area with the League ofWomen Voters and NARAL showing strongest involvement outside the metro area. 21

PAGE 28

NARAL, the League ofWomen Voters and the Women's Lobby of Colorado all identified the presence of experienced activists in their membership. Planned Parenthood and NOW appear to attract individuals with a broader interest than the political arena. NARAL appears to be the most successful in involving the members in the program. This agency has the highest percentage of volunteers to members. The Women's Lobby of Colorado's has a small numbers of members and volunteers relative to the other groups. The WLC also reported the least amount of member time availability. Overall, Planned Parenthood seems to have the strongest showing across all specific membership indicators. The agency has the most supporters and they have the highest level of education, income and time availability. PPRM is fairly well represented across Colorado and the conservative leaning of their membership would seem to give them an advantage in the Republican dominated Colorado legislature. Given that NARAL and Planned Parenthood team up on almost any major legislative initiative, the two organizations may have evolved to balance each other in terms of organizational characteristics. NARAL has the extensive communication system and the membership base that is committed to the sole issue of choice. Planned Parenthood has a professional lobbyist and the membership base interested in a broader range of reproductive health issues. Leadership While it is important to have resources in the form of membership and financial support, how an organization utilizes these resources is also a critical factor in success. By definition, it is the leadership of the organization that determines how resources will be used. Additionally, the individuals themselves are resources as they bring expertise and experience to bear on the effort. Scholars have noted that high quality leadership is essential to the long term success of a lobbying organization (Hrebenar, 50). Factors that have been identified as contributing to high quality leadership include experience and mastery of the policy making process and depth of understanding of the issue at hand (Boneparth, 1988, Costain, 1992). Additionally, some scholars have noted the importance of having paid staff to provide continuity and direction to the effort (Hrebenar, 51) .. 22

PAGE 29

PPRM has several key people working on the legislative program, a majority of whom are staff members. They agency has a full time lobbyist plus two full-time public affairs staff members. Across the state, four staff members devote one day a week to public affairs. The Executive Director and Board members are active primarily when called in to action by other staff. The individuals working on PPRM's legislative program are recognized as experts in the field--either with the issue or with the legislative process. The years of individual experience range from two to ten years. In addition to comprehensive knowledge of the issues, the key individuals all have specific experience with the legislative process. The lobbyist has the most experience, but everyone involved with the legislative program has experience working with bills before the legislature. The key people working on NOWs legislative are the Board of Directors and the volunteer legislative liaison. On some issues the organization has received help from staff at the national office as with the effort to oppose Amendment# 2. For the most part, the organization depends on the volunteers. The range of experience of people working in NOWs legislative program runs the gamut from highly sophisticated to neophyte. The organization admits that, "some really do not have a clue." Of all the volunteers, probably only one or two people have any depth of experience with the legislative process in Colorado. The non-paid lobbyist has many years of experience-working on issue and candidate campaigns and in the legislature. The key people working on the legislative program for the Women's Lobby of Colorado are, in order of importance, the lobbyists, the Issues Committee, the Board and then the general membership. The Board has final say on the overall legislative agenda, but the Issues Committee has regular contact with the lobbyists and provide them with direction. The experience level of these key people is "fairly low overall." The lobbyists had several years at the capitol before coming to work for the Women's Lobby. However, this was their first year with the WLC and they really had not had prior experience with social issues. Thus, the organization relied heavily on other lobbyists for content expertise. The Issue Committee does have a general understanding of the issues. 23

PAGE 30

NARAL's key legislative people are the Political Director and Field Director who co-orchestrated different components of the campaign. Four Board members are highly involved as well as a Lobby Committee often to twelve people. NARAL's staff are recognized experts in the issue area and they feel the volunteers have a very good understanding of the arguments. The range of experience with choice issues varies from one to 22 years. In terms of the legislative process, two or three of the key organizers have some experience and some have a better sense of legislative strategy than others. The Board and staff create the strategy and the committee implements the field work. Board approval is required for every major strategy decision. The key person working on legislation for the League of Women Voters is a full time lobbyist who does the research and follows the bill through the process. Two volunteers from the legislative action committee also have a particular interest in this bill. These individuals have much familiarity with the legislative process. Both the lobbyist and the volunteers have previous experience at the capitol. Their experience level on the substance of the bills varies depending on the issue. Three out of the five organizations, Planned ParenthoocL NARAL and the League of Women Voters operate with professional staff directing the entire legislative program. NOW and the Women's Lobby rely on volunteers. The Women's Lobby, Planned Parenthood and the League ofWomen Voters all retain professional lobbyists but of these three, only Planned Parenthood and the League reported a high level of experience with the legislative process. The Women's Lobby felt inexperienced in dealing with their issue agenda in the legislative arena. Both NARAL and Planned Parenthood have leaders who are recognized as experts in the field. The other organizations report varied levels of expertise and experience. Overall, Planned Parenthood and NARAL appear to have the highest leadership indicators. They have the most staff with the longest years of experience. The volunteer leadership for both organizations is also reported as very capable. Financial Resources If there is a single most useful resource a lobby organization can possess, it may be money. Money can be converted into any other resource-quality leadership, 24

PAGE 31

access to political decision makers, a favorable public image or hardworking and knowledgeable staff. PPRM has an annual organizational budget of$ I 3 million. Three percent of this budget, or $390, 000; is for public affairs. PPRM conducts ongoing fundraising of which soliciting for the legislative program is a part. NOW has an annual organizational budget of$20,000. No exact percentage could be determined as spent on the legislative program but representatives estimated it is, "Very little." The organization did not do any fundraising for the legislative program. Instead, NOW became an organizational member of the Colorado Women's Lobby and relied heavily on the lobbyists hired by this organization and provided NOW volunteers as backup. The Women's Lobby of Colorado has an annual organizational budget of approximately $8,000. Out of this they paid the lobbyists $1,200 per month for five months to equal $6,000. The organization conducted fund-raisers for the legislative program as a whole rather than for the effort on any specific legislation. NARAL has an organizational budget of approximately $320,000. The percentage of this budget used to fund the legislative effort could not be determined but was estimated to be, "Hardly anything--less that one percent." The organization conducts ongoing fundraising efforts to support their overall political work. The League has an organizational budget of$60,000. Approximately 30% of this budget is used for legislative efforts. One fundraising mailing was done on the legislative program as a whole. No appeals were made around specific legislation. The return rate on this effort was not calculated. Planned Parenthood is clearly in a league of its own in this category even if only the percentage of the budget spent for public affairs is considered. NARAL reports the second highest level of financial resources. Both of these agencies conduct ongoing fundraising whereas the League ofWomen Voters, the Women's Lobby of Colorado and NOW limit themselves to periodic efforts to raise money. Communication Mechanisms A lobby group's communication system links the leaders to the members. Without an effective system the other resources can not be coordinated to achieve the 25

PAGE 32

desired goal. Communication serves to educate the members of the organization and call them to action. It also serves to coordinate financial resources. Although they would not define themselves as a grassroots organization, PPRM takes many approaches to actively involve their supporters in efforts to influence legislation. The members are asked to write letters to the editor and respond to the media and to contact their legislator with a phone call and/or letter. They are involved in efforts to secure editorial support from the newspapers. Additionally, PPRM has members of the board of directors testify at the committee hearings. PPRM had many methods of internal communication about organizational efforts to influence legislation. The agency held numerous meetings with the staff, lobbyist and coalition members to plan strategy. The Public Affairs committee met monthly and received regular issue briefings. The board was kept up to date at their quarterly meetings. Supporters were alerted through a quarterly newsletter. More active information was provided through a phone tree which was set up with twelve teams of ten people across the state. This was done by identifying supporters in a legislator's district and asking them to make contact Also, people could call for up to date information on a 1-800 phone number. The Board of Directors, Public Affairs Committee, volunteers and supporters received this communication. PPRM cannot determine the percentage of individuals who responded to the requests to take action.. They do not have a system to measure outcomes of their requests for political action. PPRM also communicates with other groups about legislative efforts. This is done primarily through coalitions that form around issues. The coalitions provided the structure for continual information sharing. NOW has several methods of internal communication about organizational efforts to influence legislation although these methods appear to be used sporadically. The Board of Directors, Members and volunteers received the communication. The organizational newsletter is the primary communication tool. This goes out three to four times a year. Colorado members also get the national newsletter. The organization has a phone tree of all the chapter presidents who will pass information on to the other members in their chapter. However, one half of the members are members at large who are not affiliated with a chapter and thus do not get the information that is passed through the chapters. 26

PAGE 33

On priority issues NOW contacts the members and ask that they contact their legislators. The agency cannot really determine the percentage of individuals who responded to requests for action The organization communicates with other groups about legislative efforts primarily through the close association with the Women's Lobby of Colorado. As described previously, NOW is highly involved with the Women's Lobby of Colorado and works with other organizations through this avenue. NOW also has a PAC through which they meet with the League ofWomen Voters, American Association of University Women, NARAL and the Women's Political Caucus to discuss candidates. NOW has both a local and national PAC and have contributed up to $5,000 to campaigns in Colorado in a year. The Women's Lobby had several methods for internal communication about organizational efforts on the legislative agenda. This communication was made to the Issues Committee, Board, and General Membership The Issues Committee met once a week with the lobbyists. The Board met once a month and was briefed on legislative developments and approved any needed items. Two newsletters were sent out to the general membership plus invitations to events such as the legislative breakfast and coffee. Additionally, the organization started a telephone tree that is not yet used very often. At the end of the session they put updates on the phone line about the bills. People would need to call in to get any current information. Individuals were only asked to become active on any issue if they called into the voice mail and heard the outgoing message. WLC could not estimate the percentage of individuals responding to requests for action because they do not have a way to track the information. WLC did communicate extensively with other groups about their legislative efforts. Such cominunication is built into the structure of the organization. Almost all Board Members work for or have a leadership position with another women's organization. In this way they communicated about all the Women's Lobby bills-mostly through word of mouth at meetings. WLC did not feel that the organization was in a leadership role in terms of asking other organizations to do something. It was known that other organizations had a favorable position on the bill but unclear if these organizations were active. NARAL has a very extensive and detailed system for internal communication about organizational efforts to influence legislation. This system was used by the staff: 27

PAGE 34

Board, Lobby Committee, volunteers and supporters. They utilized a phone tree and newsletters and in the office there were frequent meetings and phonecalls. In this way the communication system is intimate and informal. Additionally, the organization started a fax and e-mail tree. Through these communications members were asked to become involved in efforts to influence legislation. They were asked to call their legislators and to notify other people by participating in phone banks and phone trees. Some field leaders were asked to have contact with the media and some members held house parties to raise awareness about the issues. NARAL could not, however, document what percentage of members asked to become active responded. NARAL did communicate with other groups about legislative efforts, primarily through coalitions organized around issues. Often in these situations the organizations finds that the heavy lifting is done by NARAL and PPRM with other groups playing a secondary role. The primary communication mechanism for the League ofWomen Voters on legislative items was the Legislative Newsletter which goes out to members several times during the session. Additionally, the League has a "Call to Action" process in which the chapter presidents are asked to coordinate phone trees on those issues. This information is sent to the Board, Legislative Action Committee and the general members. The League does not have a way to track responses to their request for action. The League involved the members in efforts to influence legislation in many ways. A legislative letter went out biweekly during the session that had frequent updates on the status of the bills. This information explained the bills in terms of the key provisions and gave the members key lobbying points and explained how it related to LWV policy. The updates implied that people contact their legislators but did not direct them to do so. Such direction is reserved for priority issues in which a "Call to Action" is issued instructing people to contact legislators. The call to action is limited to only a few bills each session. The League communicates with other groups about the legislative agenda primarily through those groups who had lobbyists at the capitol-the Colorado Women's Lobby and Planned Parenthood. In this way, the League attempts to work with these other groups in a coalition approach. When the League is the leader on an issue, the group makes a request for other organizations to take action. 28

PAGE 35

All.five organizations produce a regular newsletter of which some portion is devoted to updating people on the efforts to influence legislation. NARAL appears to have the most sophisticated process for internal communications which includes phone banking members, sending E-mail and faxes. Additionally, this is organized by the legislative district. The League ofWomen Voters and Planned Parenthood also possess well organized communication mechanisms. The Women's Lobby of Colorado and NOW reported fewer mechanisms that occur less frequently. Conclusion Based upon review of organizational literature and interviews with organizational representatives, a picture has emerged of the organizational characteristics of the five feminist organizations. These characteristics have been charted out in Table 3-1. Interesting similarities and differences are evident among the organizations. The membership of all organizations is described as having at least some college education and being middle to upper class and comprised mostly of professionals. There is a wide range between the numbers of members the organizations claim, from a high of6,000 to a low of210. Additionally, the amount of time the members have available ranges from no time to substantial time. Four of the five organizations have a lobbyist at the capitol and three of the organizations retain a professional lobbyist. The range of experience among the leadership in the organizations is vast--from experts in the field to virtual rookies. Planned Parenthood dwarfs the other agencies in terms of the financial resources it brings to bear on legislative efforts. Although possessing the smallest overall budget, the Women's Lobby commits the vast majority of this budget to legislative efforts. In no case did the organizations document fundraising efforts around a specific bill. All the organizations utilized a newsletter although the frequency of its' publication is quite varied. Although all the groups use a phone tree, the capacity of these systems was also quite varied. NARAL appeared to have the most frequent and diverse vehicles for communication. None of the organizations had a system to track volunteer follow up on action requests. 29

PAGE 36

Two questions remain: I) How the organizational characteristics were brought to bear on legislative efforts and 2) How effective members of the General Assembly perceived each group to be at influencing public policy. These questions are explored in chapters Four and Five respectively. 30

PAGE 37

Table 3-1 Internal Characteristics by Organization PPRM Colo NOW MEMBERSHIP Numbers 7,a:JJ Supporter 3,5004,000 members 210 indMduals, 12 organ. 700 volunteers 50-100volunteers 18 volunteers Education Graduate Degreed Some College One College Degree Income High Income Middle Class Mid to Upper class Time Available Good Time Available Fair time available No time available Worlc:Type Professionals/Managers Human Service Profssnls Professionals Geographic Distribution Statewide base Primarily Metro Denver Primarily Metro Denver Unique Characteristics Conservative Bias strong personal investment Experienced activists Doctors LEADERSHIP Numbers 2 Program Staff No Program Staff No Program Staff 4 part time organizers Lobbyist Professsional Lobbyist Volunteer Lobbyist Professional Lobbyists Program cpordination Public Affairs Director Board of Directors Issues Committee Experience level Experts in subject Varied experience Minimal Experience strong legsltv experience limited legsltv experience good legisltv experience FINANCIAL Annual Budget $3.1 miiRon 20 Kannual BKannual % for legislative effort 3ro K for public Affairs Very little used SOOAI budget for lobbyists Type of Fundraising Fundraising for program No fundraising Fundraising for program Frequency of Fundraising Ongoing One appeal COMMUNICATION Publications Newsletter Newsletter Newsletter Activities Statewide Phonetree Chapter phonetree Limited phonetree Action Alerts 1-800# limited voice mail Coordination w/ groups Coalition member Coordinate w/CWL Issues Committee Follow thru action requests Don't determine Don't determine Don't determine 31

PAGE 38

MEMBERSHIP Numbers Education Income Time Available Work Type Geographic Distribution Unique Characteristics LEADERSHIP Numbers Lobbyist Program coordination Experience level FINANCIAL Annual Budget % for legislative effort Type of Fundraising Frequency of Fundraising COMMUNICATION Publications Activities Table 3-1 Internal Characteristics by Organization (continued) NABA!,. 5,CXD-6,CXD members 2,5a> volunteers One College Degree Middle Class Good Time available Professionals Extensive statewide base Experienced Activtists 2 Program Staff No Lobbyist Lobby Committee Experts in subject strong legisltv experience 320Kannual 10% spent on Bill Fundraising for program Ongoing Newsletter Statewide Phonetree Phonebanks E-mail & fax trees Community Meetings bMl 1 ,5(X) members 5(X) volunteers One Degree, some post graduate Middle Class Good Time available Professionals Extensive statewide base Strong Commitment Community Leaders 2 Program Staff Professional Lobbyist Legislative Committee Varied Experience strong legisltv experience 60Kannual on Legislative program Fundraising for program One appeal Newsletter Legislative Newsletter Chapter Phonetree calls to action Coordination w/ groups Coalition Member Coordinate w/CWL Don't determine Follow thru action requests Don't determine 32

PAGE 39

CHAPTER4 LEGISLATIVE CASE STUDIES Case studies provide an appropriate vehicle to study the relationship between the organizational characteristics of the five feminist organizations and the outcome of their legislative efforts. Such an approach sheds light on how the organizational characteristics were brought to bear on the effort and allows for the reaction of the individuals involved to specific events. The legislative efforts with two bills are presented. The case studies are constructed through interviews with an organizational representative from each of the five feminist organizations and a sample of thirteen members of the Colorado General Assembly. Also used were organizational documents, such as fact sheets and newsletters, that reeorded the events that transpired. Both of the bills studied were defeated. In one case, HB 95-1329, The Parental Notification Act, this was the desired outcome from the point of view of the feminist organizations. The feminist organizations mobilized a defensive strategy to defeat the bill and were successful in this endeavor. In the case ofHB 95-1142, Employer Notification ofNew Hires, the bill also died. This, however, was not the outcome desired by the feminist organizations. The case studies reveal that the feminist. groups worked in coalition with each other. Each bill was deemed a top priority for two or more of the organizations studied. Because of this prioritization, the individual organizations joined in coalition to focus on one bill over the other. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and NARAL were active only on HB 95-1329. Although concerned with HB 95-1329, the League ofWomen Voters, Colorado NOW and the Women's Lobby of Colorado were most active on HB 95-1142. In both cases, at least one of the organizations involved enlisted the services of a professional lobbyist. This coalition approach has implications which need to be taken into consideration for this study The characteristics of the individual groups involved shape the characteristics of the coalition. The existence a certain characteristic does 33

PAGE 40

not guarantee, however, that it will be employed. To address this issue, the case studies will explore how individual group characteristics are utilized in the coalition. House Bill95-1329, Parental Notice Act This bill would have required that any physician who performs an abortion on a minor to I) Obtain written consent from the minor, 2) Serve written notice to the minor's parents and 3) Wait forty eight hours after service of notice on the parent before performing the abortion. The feminist organizations opposed this bill and sought its defeat. From the beginning; individual feminist groups actively formed a coalition to respond to the bill. This coalition was founded on a campaign vehicle called the Protect Our Daughters Initiative that was established in 1994 to defeat a proposed ballot initiative with similar goals as HB 95-1329. In this regard, many of the organizational components--such as communications techniques and fundraisingwere already in place. Additionally, the process of having defeated a proposed ballot initiative of similar nature prepared the feminist organizations by giving them experience with the arguments and debate surrounding the parental notice issue. The feminist organizations reactivated the Protect Our Daughters Initiative for the effort to defeat HB 95-1329. Although the coalition claimed twenty four organizations as members (including all five studied in this research), Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado National Abortion Rights Action League were identified as the leaders of the coalition. Prior to releasing a public position on the bill, members of the coalition had discussions about the best strategy to adopt. Some felt that the coalition could defeat the bill on concept and that the focus should be to kill the bill in its entirety. Other felt that this bill would easily pass what they perceived to be a highly conservative Colorado General Assembly. In their view, adoption of a compromise bill was the best way to prevent greater damage and they were prepared to offer a compromise. In the end, the prevailing strategy was to sustain complete and unwavering opposition to the bill. During these discussions participants decided that it was critical for individual organizations to adhere to the position of the coalition. It was felt that any other 34

PAGE 41

approach would dilute the power base of the coalition. As such, the feminist organizations decided early to present a united front. HB 95-1329 was first assigned to the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. Although the feminist organizations provided testimony and informational fact sheets at the hearing, the committee passed the bill. The bill was then referred to the House Appropriations committee which dealt with the $50,000 fiscal note that was attached to the bill to provide schools with an educational packet on the law should it pass. The committee eliminated this portion of the bill and it was then passed to the House floor for second reading The debate of the bill on second reading in the House was heated and emotional. The feminist organizations continued their lobbying strategy which included constituent contact, informational handouts, direct contact with the lobbyist and soliciting the help of supportive lawmakers to make their case to the rest of the chamber. Eventually, the feminist organizations succeeded and the bill lost on second reading. The final vote, however, was extremely close--29 Aye, 33 No and 3 Excused. Organizational Characteristics that Influenced Legislative Outcome Leadership Arguably, the most important factor to the success of the legislative effort around HB 95-1329 was the experience and understanding ofthe organizational leadership. The individuals leading this effort were well established as state and national experts on issues of reproductive choice. They were well versed in the arguments and anticipated the questions and concerns. Legislators responded to this level of competency as evidenced in comments about detailed and thorough fact sheets and testimony that was consistent and well thought out. The leadership also possessed a mastery of the legislative process and legislative campaigns. All staff members involved with the effort had prior experience at the Colorado legislature working with the specific legislators voting on HB 951329. Additionally, a professional lobbyist with several years of experience working on reproductive choice issues was retained to work directly with lawmakers. 35

PAGE 42

Communication Systems The feminist organizations working to defeat HB 95-1329 instituted a sophisticated communications system that was built upon the experience of having recently defeated a state-wide ballot initiative. In taking a leadership role, PPRM and NARAL provided extensive and frequent communications to organizational members and coalition members. These came in the form of newsletters, action alerts and phonecalls and they contained requests for specific action. NARAL organized a constituent in every legislative district to communicate with each individual legislator. Membership The membership ofPPRM and NARAL were identified as committed and having a wide variety of resources available to lend to the effort. This was an issue about which the members felt strongly and for which they were prepared to give their time and energy. Membership involvement was evident at all levels of the legislative effort. Members organized district "teach ins", provided testimony at the hearing, sent letters and made phonecalls to legislators, contributed financially and were involved in developing the strategy for the effort. Financial Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains brought financial resources to this effort that far exceeded the ability of any of the other feminist organizations studied. As such, PPRM was in a position to retain the professional lobbyist, employ several staff and send numerous communications. Other Factors Influencing Legislative Outcome It is common knowledge in the halls of the state capitol that it is easier to kill a bill than to pass one. In this regard the feminist organizations working to defeat HB 95-1329 had an advantage. Those involved in the effort also feel that the timing of the debate on the bill worked in their favor. The bill sponsor waited several weeks to introduce the bill and this allowed time for the politics in the House of Representatives to change. The litmus test for the moderate center came in the form of a bill which would have recognized homosexuals as a class to receive protection within the hate crime statutes. In supporting this bill, some moderates decided to take a stand against a strong contingent of conservative legislators deemed the "radical right". In doing this they 36

PAGE 43

proved to themselves and others that they could take a stand and survive which they subsequently did on HB 95-1329. A final factor contributing to the defeat ofHB 95-1329 is the leadership taken by individual lawmakers in both the House and the Senate. They provided a strong lobby of their colleagues to vote the measure down. House Bill95-1142, Emplo_yer &&porting ofNew Hires HB 95-1142 would have created an employer reporting system that required the employer to report to the Colorado Department of Labor the hiring of all new employees and those on the employers payroll. The legislation was sought to increase child support collections by helping to locate non-paying parents who change jobs frequently. The Women's Lobby of Colorado identified this bill as one of the organization's top legislative priorities. Through involvement with WLC's legislative committee, Colorado NOW and the League of Women Voters also tracked the bill. The interest in this bill came out of a meeting sponsored by the Department of Human Service (DHS) to overview all the legislation they were supporting to increase child support collections and enforcement. HB 95-1142 was one ofthree pieces oflegislation to increase child support enforcement. The sponsor of the bill was a senior member of the majority Republican party. Supporters felt the issue had been well researched and they made efforts to anticipate and resolve any concerns about the actual reporting requirements. Although this was a good foundation to start a legislative effort, representatives from DHS felt that the bill would have a better chance of passing if advocacy groups were involved. With the feminist organizations on board, it was felt that this bill had a strong chance of passage. The bill made it smoothly through the House receiving little to no opposition. The feminist organizations provided testimony in committee, created fact sheets and directed the lobbyist to speak with individual legislators. It was not until the hearing in the Senate Business Affairs and Labor Committee that strong opposition was encountered. Pressured by the credit industry and bank lobby, the committee amended the bill to allow for the collection of this information for any debt, not just child support. This change resulted in the loss of support for the bill as a whole from many lawmakers who had concerns with debt collection practices and the committee ultimately voted the measure down. 37

PAGE 44

Organizational Characteristics that Influenced Legislative Outcome Leadership The organizational factors that have the most bearing on this legislative effort appear to be the "greenness" of the coordinating organization and the inexperience of the leadership. At the time of this legislative effort, the Women's Lobby of Colorado was only three years old. Representatives from the group candidly admitted, "We did not have the capacity to respond to the opposition to this legislation." In terms of the issue area, the individual leaders had fairly low expertise and, thus, relied heavily on the Child Support Enforcement Division ofDHS for content expertise. Additionally, it was the first year that WLC had contracted with the lobbyists and these women did not have a history working on child enforcement issues or any other social issues. Communication Systems In terms of communication systems, interviews reveal that Colorado NOW and the League ofWomen Voters were looking to the Women's Lobby of Colorado to take the leadership on HB 95-1142. The former groups pledged to make the bill a top priority by. supporting WLC's efforts. In turn, WLC informed its' members of the status of the bill generally but did not ask for specific action on the bill. By the time the bill was in trouble representatives felt time was to short to activate the members. In this regard, the communication systems on HB 95-1146 appear limited. Membership The membership of the organizations involved with HB 96-1142 possessed strong background in advocacy. The members were professionals in women's groups and had been activists for years. This experience did not extend, however, to much work at the Colorado legislature. Additionally, the members did not demonstrate a strong commitment to the issue. This is evidenced by a lack of time and ability to become actively involved and a belief that other bills before the General Assembly had more of an impact on the issue of child support enforcement. As one representative aptly observed, "They just didn't have the fire in their belly for this one.'' 38

PAGE 45

Financial Even ifviewed as a combined effort, the League ofWomen Voters, Colorado NOW and the Colorado Women's Lobby did not possess tremendous financial resources to utilize in the effort on HB 95-1142. It is unclear if the level of :financial resources did or did not have an effect on the outcome with HB 95-1142. These resources were spread across efforts on several pieces of legislation that.made up a broader legislative agenda. Other Factors Influencing Legislative Outcome HB 95-1142 was caught up in a broader debate about welfare reform. In addition to this bill, four others which dealt with welfare reform were being considered by the General Assembly. HB 95-1142, there fore, may not have been perceived as the most important bill of its kind. The bill created a technical remedy to a larger issue. That is, by enforcing child support patents are kept off the welfare rolls. Supporters of the measure expressed that lawmakers were focused on the minutia of how the bill would be implemented and missed the goal of the bill. The fact that opposition to the measure came later in the process and toward the end of the legislative session may have contributed to the defeat of the bill. The late hour gave supporters little time to respond to concerns raised by the banking lobby. It also inhibited mobilizing the grassroots base of the feminist organizations. Finally, the bank and credit lobby are perceived to have considerable ability to influence legislators. As one representative from the feminist groups stated, 11the business lobby found the reporting requirements in HB 95-1142 to strict and the big contributions they may to legislators must have paid off.11 Conclusion The two case studies presented in HB 95-1329 and HB 95-1142 reveal that the feminist organizations took a similar approach to the effort. Coalitions were built around both efforts and both utilized a professional lobbyist, policy documents and membership mobilization. As demonstrated in Chapter 3, the organizations independently reported strength on one or more organizational characteristic. The results, however, are obviously very different--those organizations involved in the 39

PAGE 46

effort to defeat HB 95-1329 achieved there goal and those organizations involved in the effort to pass HB 95-1142 did not achieve their goal. As the leaders on the effort to defeat HB 95-1329, NARAL and Planned Parenthood brought to bear the combined organizational characteristics of experienced, professional leadership, a broad reaching and perpetual communication system, a committed and active membership and substantial financial resources. These resources appeared to be very directed and focused on the task of defeating the bill. In contrast, the League of Women Voters, the Women's Lobby of Colorado and Colorado NOW, were unable to exert similar cohesion. The case study reveals that, while the organizational characteristics of leadership, communication systems and membership composition appear strong, little direction was given to applying the characteristics to the effort to effort to promote HB 95-1142. The League of Women Voters, for example, possessed a sophisticated communication system but did not employ the system to call members into action on the bill. The case studies would suggest that it is not enough to possess the organizational characteristics that are associated with successful legislative outcomes. These characteristics must be employed in a directed and focused fashion so as to maximize their utility. Further insight on this phenomena can be obtained by assessing the perception of the lawmakers that the feminist organizations were trying to influence. 40

PAGE 47

CHAPTERS LEGISLATOR INTERVIEWS: MEMBERS OF THE COLORADO GENERAL ASSEMBLY In Chapter Three, five feminist organizations were analyzed to reveal a picture of four specific organizational characteristics: leadership style and experience, membership composition, communication systems and financial resources. The five organizations studied revealed various levels of strength and weakness within each characteristic area. Case studies were presented in Chapter Four that explored how the feminist organizations applied these characteristics to efforts to influence specific legislation. We observed that leadership knowledge and experience made a considerable difference in legislative outcome. The ability to direct and focus the organizational characteristics to the effort at hand. also appeared to have an impact on outcome. This chapter presents the findings of a series of interviews conducted with legislators who considered the two bills presented in the case studies. The legislators were first chosen from a random sample and some were then selected to balance the outcome of the random pick. In aR thirteen legislators representing thirteen percent of the members of the state legislature were interviewed. The profile of those interviewed is as follows: fifty-four percent were Republicans and forty-six percent were Democrats, forty-six percent were male and fifty-four percent were female, sixtynine percent were Representatives and forty-one percent were Senators and twenty four percent were rural, thirty-eight percent each were suburban and urban. A summary of the interview results is presented in Table 5-1. Each legislator was led through a series of pre-prepared questions which were primarily qualitative with a few quantitative inquiries (see appendix). The questions explored perceptions about both the overall legislative effort and the five individual feminist organizations. The interviews were conducted over the phone or in person. 41

PAGE 48

Name Recognition and Awareness The first series of questions dealt with recognition and awareness of the feminist organizations. The interview was structured to allow the lawmaker to volunteer the name of any feminist organization with which they had made contact on either HB 95-1329 or HB 95-1142. This provided an unbiased indication of the awareness the lawmaker had of the different groups. The lawmaker was then directly asked about the five feminist organizations in this study. Overall, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado NARAL had the highest identification among the lawmakers who, without prompting, named the two organizations as having worked on HB 95-1329 during the legislative process. All the legislators interviewed were aware of the mission of each organization and could distinguish them from other groups working at the capitol. The high name recognition of PPRM and NARAL may correspond with the high number oflawmak.ers responding that they had contact with the organizationsone hundred percent with PPRM and ninety two percent with NARAL. Several noted that NARAL does campaign work and runs a PAC. Others had contact with the Planned Parenthood health clinic in their district. A much smaller number, twenty-three percent, of the legislators identified the League ofWomen Voters although all could articulate the organization's mission. Less identification was made with the activity on the specific bills under study. Several members said they had developed a strong relationship with the individual who previously represented the League and could not identify the new lobbyist. All the legislators had contact with the League. Several noted the organization's legislative newsletter which they receive-during the session. Five bad direct contact with a League chapter in their district although this contact was not related to the legislative efforts on HB 95-1329 or 95-1142. Colorado NOW had the same name recognition among the lawmakers as the League although the organization was not associated with work at the capitol on either of the two bills studied. Most members did not accurately describe Colorado NOWs mission. The fewest lawmakers, thirty one percent, recalled having contact with NOW. Two legislators stated that they believe NOW does not lobby at the state level but focus on national legislation. 42

PAGE 49

The Women's Lobby of Colorado was the least well recognized of all the feminist organizations. Only one member identified the organization and only four percent accurately described the mission. Despite this low name almost half the lawmakers, when asked directly, remembered some contact with WLC. This discrepancy may be accounted for by the fact that the WLC has been lobbying only three years. This is a relatively short time compared with the other organizations. WLC may have not had the history that sustains name recognition. For all organizations, the lawmakers attempted to identify the organization by recalling the individual lobbyist who represented it at the state capitol This happened most frequently with Planned Parenthood and on one occasion with NARAL. One legislator stated, "If I knew who the lobbyist was I would probably remember the group." Perceptions of Influence A second set of questions dealt with the lawmaker's perception of the feminist organization's ability to influence their position or their colleagues position on the two bills. The questions were asked for each organization. Overall, relatively few legislators felt that the feminist organizations had an influence on them or were instrumental in shaping their opinion on a bill The perception of overall influence was highest for Planned Parenthood and NARAL. This was true even when lawmakers disagreed with the position of the two organizations. One lawmaker who was on the opposite side of the issue stated, "I guess they had influence because they won this one." Indeed, the marks may have been higher except many lawmakers stated that they were already supportive of the organization's position and did not need to be persuaded Planned Parenthood and NARAL received higher marks for the influence the lawmakers perceived they had on other legislators. Some lawmakers indicated that, although they had already made up their mind, the information that NARAL and PPRM supplied was helpful in their effort to lobby other legislators. Some lawmakers made a distinction between Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Planned Parenthood was said to be more effective because the organization deals with the broad continuum of reproductive health issues and not solely abortion. A few lawmakers described NARAL as "extreme" and, therefore, the information provided by the organization was subject to suspicion. 43

PAGE 50

Thirty-one percent of the lawmakers stated that the League ofWomen Voters influenced their opinion. Two lawmakers offered that the League is the most effective of all the groups. Several felt that the nonpartisan nature of the organization I ended to the credibility of its' position on issues. Others commented that the information provided was informative and factual. All the legislators reported having some contact with the League during the course of the legislative session. Only one lawmaker indicated that Colorado NOW influenced their opinion. Several felt that the organization was more active at the national level and did not do much at the state capitol. Two reported that they have had contact with NOW members from their district. No lawmaker responded that he or she was persuaded by the Women's Lobby. Several did offer a caveat that they did not have contact with the organization and thus were not in the position to be persuaded. One also stated that Women's Lobby has the best potential to influence because of the broad base of issues the organization works on. The final series of questions dealt with the legislators feelings about the effectiveness the collective of feminist organizations that work at the state legislature. While the reports on the individual organizations were varied, the movement as a whole received fairly positive feedback. Most lawmakers indicated the importance of the voice of these organizations even if they did not agree on a bill. A recurring theme with the lawmakers was that the issue of abortion and reproductive choice dominates what is as "women's issues". Several felt that the identification of the groups with these issues limits their ability to be effective on other issues. The groups are branded as "pro-abortion" or "liberal". Finally, several lawmakers noted the relationship between the women's organizations and women legislators. They felt that this was a reciprocal arrangement wherein they supported each other in their efforts at the statehouse. The interviews with members of the General Assembly reveal that a majority of legislators feel that they personally were not persuaded by the feminist groups. These same individuals, however, believe that there colleagues were influenced. This response seems inconsistent. The legislators may have been attempting to counter-act a public perception that lawmakers are "bought" by special interests. None-the-less, in 44

PAGE 51

referencing their colleagues the legislators credit some measure of influence to the feminist organizations. 45

PAGE 52

Table 5-1 Summary of Legislator Interviews No. of legislators responding: 13 Republican: 7 Democrat: 6 Urban: 5 Suburban: 5 Rural: 3 Female: 7 Male:6 Senators: 4 Representatives: 9 Question Percentage of legislators responding postively fmM Colo NOW WI.& rww, Identified Organization 80% 23% 0.08% 76% 23% Correctly stated Mission 100% 33% 4% 100% 100% Felt Influenced Opinion 33% 0.15% 0% 33% 31% Felt Influenced others 69% 0% 0% 69% 0.15% Contacted by Organization 100% 31% 46% 92% 100% 46

PAGE 53

CHAPTER6 CONCLUSION This thesis is based on the premise that resource mobilization is the most important determinate in the success of a social movement. A further premise is that feminist organizations are the primary vehicle by which the women's movement mobilizes resources to achieve its goals and objectives. Feminist interest groups are specifically aimed at achieving these goals through the political arena. This thesis supports the validity of Resource Mobilization Theory. RM theory states that organization of resources is central to the success of a social movement. In essence, the internal organizational characteristics of leadership, membership, communication and funding are resources for the broader women's movement. The case studies demonstrate that the organizations influenced legislation when they effectively mobilized their collective resources. Although individuals may have felt strongly about an issue, the feminist interest groups provided the vehicle which enables the individual to affect the issue. Prior research indicates a relationship between certain organizational characteristics and the ability of interest groups to achieve legislative outcomes. Specifically, these characteristics are: 1) Leaders who have experience with the issue and the legislative process 2) Members who possess high levels of education and income, time to participate and /or who possess some unique characteristic which supports the effort, 3) Communication systems that allow information to be disseminated quickly and which reach a substantial number of people and 4) Access to funds which can be directed to support the effort. An overview has been provided of five feminist organizations to the extent that they exhibit these organizational characteristics. Legislative Outcome When looking at the outcome of HB 95-1329, it is clear that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado NARAL were effective. The organizations achieved their goal of defeating HB 95-1329. The analysis also reveals 47

PAGE 54

that these organizations possess the internal characteristics that are associated with success in legislative efforts. The organizational leaders were recognized as experts in the field and had several years of experience in the legislative process, PPRM brought enonnous financial resources to the effort, the members had high levels of education and income as well as the time to participate and the organizations each had a sophisticated communication system that reached many people in a speedy manner. Interviews with members of the Colorado General Assembly reveal that the PPRM and NARAL are both well known and were identified with the issue presented in HB 95-1329. A good percentage of the legislators felt that the organizations influenced lawmaker opinion on the bill. In general, the lawmakers found the organizations to be credible and well organized. Legislators specifically named the lobbyist representing Planned Parenthood and identified her as a leader on the bill. In contrast, the legislative outcome ofHB 95-1142 was not what the feminist organizations desired. The League ofWomen Voters, the Women's Lobby of Colorado and Colorado NOW were not effective in achieving the passage ofHB 95-1142. The analysis of organizational characteristics reveal a mixed bag of strength and weakness. The leadership of the organizations was inexperienced on both the substance of the bill and the legislative process. The Women's Lobby did, however, enlist the services of a professional lobbyist. Even combined, the organizations possessed limited financial resources. A strong communication system was available through the League ofWomen Voters but was not utilized on the specific legislation. Although the membership was educated and experienced, they lacked the time to become involved with the effort. The organizational commitment to the issue did not appear as strong as on other child support enforcement bills. Concerning this legislation, lawmakers identified the League of Women as the most persuasive of the three groups working on the bill. The majority simply did not know the Women's Lobby and NOW was felt to be active on only national issues. Overall, the response from the legislators interviewed was that no single group was making a sustained effort to secure the passage ofHB 95-1142. Characteristics Supporting Success The efforts with HB 95-1329 and HB 95-1142 happen in a broader political and social context and, thus, it is difficult to isolate and measure an exact correlation 48

PAGE 55

between organizational characteristics and legislative outcomes. None-the-less, the case studies presented in this thesis present some important lessons. Off all the organizational factors, leadership seemed to play a key role in the different legislative outcome. The leaders of the organizations opposing HB 95-1329 made the choice to employ all the organizational resources in a coordinated fashion. While the groups working on HB 95-1142 had resources at their disposal, those resources appear to have been underutilized. This may be the case because, although the bill was deemed publicly to be a priority, interviews reveal that in practice it was of minimal importance. The result was that a lack of drive and interest pervaded the efforts on HB 95-1142. Additionally, the coalition involved with this effort was in the early stages of developing working relationships. Interviews reveal differing expectations of leadership and the other requirements to implement an action plan. The case studies also speak to the importance of sustaining leadership at the statehouse. Whether a lobbyist was professional or volunteer, the lawmakers responded to the organizations in terms of the individual representing the group. When lawmakers knew the lobbyist, their perception of influence was increased. When the lawmakers did not know who was representing the organization, they assumed the group was not active at the state capitol. Reflections from the Activists Perhaps the most telling lessons. come directly from the representatives of the feminist organizations. The point was made that the collective of feminist organizations are not the major influence at the capitol but that they are also not of minimal influence. The groups in this study were felt by the representatives be well known at the capitol and respected. The groups are most effective, it was noted, when they become allies of other women's groups and other issue groups. The women's community is fairly well organized and, compared to other nonprofit constituencies, there is a good division oflabor within the community. Those representatives working directly at the capitol felt the need for more coordination of efforts, such as planned meetings, to divide up tasks and update each other on the bills. It was perceived that some groups are "turfY" and do not want to share the spotlight. 49

PAGE 56

It was also felt that the feminist organizations working at the state capitol are divided along issue lines. As one activist stated, "It is my sense that the community is organized around single issues such as choice and domestic violence and that there is not a broad based front." Another reflected, "I do not think that there is a sense of a women's community at the capitol. More than a women's community, I think legislators see a pro-choice community that they believe is liberal but generally credible." Recommendations This study has provided some key insights to what makes feminist groups successful at influencing public policy at the state legislature. The contrast between the efforts with HB 95-1329 and HB 95-1142 reveal some obvious directions the feminist groups should pursue to improve their performance. I Feminist Groups Should Work In Coalitions As observed earlier, the characteristics of the coalition are shaped by the characteristics of the individual organizations involved. Where one group is limited, another may provide support. This approach bolsters the efforts of all the groups involved and increases the likelihood of success. When working in coalition, however, expectations and roles must be clearly defined. As was demonstrated in the effort with HB 95-1329, much can be achieved when the efforts are coordinated so that the strengths of individual groups are focused to support the overall effort. When this directed inventory does not occur, the result is a fragmented and inefficient effort. Such was the case with HB 95-I 142. 2 Feminist Groups Should Communicate with Lawmakers Ahead ofthe Session Perception of influence increased among the lawmakers in this study when they had contact with the organization prior to the effort on the specific legislation. Such contact also appeared to help legitimize the group and thereby afford them access to the lawmaker. This was more the case when the contact made in advance of the session was from a constituent in the legislator's district. 3. Feminist Groups Should Have Representation at the Capitol During the Session When an organization had a lobbyist at the capitol, the large majority of legislators interviewed made an association with the lobbyist and the organization. In 50

PAGE 57

these cases, perception of influence was increased. When the organization did not utilize a lobbyist, the legislators assumed the group was not active at the capitol. It did not seem to matter to the legislators if the lobbyist was a professional or a volunteer. The important factor for the legislators was that the organizations had a consistent and active presence. They felt confident in the group when they knew who was the spokesperson. Feminist organizations have an incredible challenge when trying to influence policy outcomes at the state level. Many factors which contribute to the success or failure of their efforts, most of which are, for all intents and purposes, out of their control. The organizations do have some measure of control over the internal organizational characteristics that they employ in their legislative efforts. This study has revealed the nature of internal organizational characteristics which lent support to specific efforts at the state house. This analysis supports previous scholars who observed the importance to interest groups of experienced leadership, diverse membership, strong communications and ample financial backing. Perhaps by maximizing these qualities, feminist organizations will have more success in their efforts to influence policy outcome. 51

PAGE 58

APPENDIX 52

PAGE 59

A. QUESTIONNAIRE FOR ORGANIZATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES Background Information How long bas organization been in existence? Number of Staff Number of Board Number of Volunteers Organization's mission and goals Background on Legislation What was your organizations position and or goal on (HB 1142, 1329) during the l995legislative session? Please Describe the events that transpired with your organization's effort to influence the outcome of HB 1142, 1329). In what ways was your organization's goals for this legislation achieved or denied? Membership Size and Composition What constitutes a member of your organization? Number of Members Please characterize your membership according to the following categories: Level of Education Socioeconomic Status Geographic Distribution Time availability Professional Type Are there any specific or unique resources your members bring to your agency. Did you involve your members in the effort to influenced the outcome of (HB 1142, 1329)? If so, in what ways? How would you describe your members commitment level to the organization? To this issue presented in (HB 1142, 1329). Leadership style and Ability 53

PAGE 60

Who are the key people that worked on (HB 1142, 1329)? Are they staff, members, board members? How experienced are these individuals with the issue presented in the legislation? How many years have they been active with these issues? Do these individuals have specific experience with the legislative process? Financial Resources What is the organizational budget? What percentage of this budget funded the effort to influence (HB 1142, 1329)? Did the organization do fundraising for the specific effort arowid this legislation? H so, what was the return rate on these efforts? Communication Mechanisms Please describe the system for internal comniunication about organizational efforts to influence (HB 1142, 1329). Who received this communication? Were individuals asked to become active in the issue? If so, what percentage of individuals responded to this request? Did the organization communicate with other groups about the effort with (HB 1142, 1329)? If so, what groups and in what ways? Was a request made for other organizations to take action? If so, what percentage responded to the request? Summacy Questions Overall, how do you feel about your organization's performance in attempting to influence (HB 1179, 1329)? What do you feel was the most important determining factors in the outcome of the legislation? Any other comments? 54

PAGE 61

B. LEGIS LA TOR QUESTIONNAIRE Section One The following questions relate to two specific pieces oflegislation before the 1995 session. House Bill 95-1329 Sponsors: Representative Anderson, Senators Coffman and Ament This bill would have required that a doctor notify a minor's parent or legal guardian before providing abortion services to the minor. The bill passed through House State Affairs and Appropriations Committees and then lost on second reading in the House. 1. Are you familiar with the bill? 2. If applicable, what was your position on the bill? 3. Did you have contact with any women's groups working on this bill? YES NO 4. If Yes, Can you name the group(s)? 5. Approximately how often did they contact you? 6. In what ways did they communicate with you? 7. Did their efforts influence you? In what ways? 8. Do you feel their efforts influenced other members of the General Assembly? In what ways? 9. If No, do you have any feelings about the absence ofcontact? House Bill 95-1142 Sponsors: Representative Adkins, Senator Lacy This bill would have required that employers notify the Department of Labor within five weeks after an employee was newly hired with the goal of identifying parents not paying child support. The bill passed through the House and was postponed indefinitely in the Senate Business Affairs and Labor Committee. 1. Are you familiar with the bill? 2. If applicable, what was your position on the bill? 55

PAGE 62

3. Did you have contact with any women's groups working on this bill? YES NO 4. If Yes, Can you name the group(s)? 5. Approximately how often did they contact you? 6. In what ways did they communicate with you? 7. Did their efforts influence you? In what ways? 8. Do you feel these organization's efforts influenced other members of the General Assembly? In what ways? 9. If No, How did you feel about the absence of contact. Section Two The following questions deal with specific organizations that are frequently active on issues before the Colorado General Assembly. Are you familiar with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains? 1. If possible, please describe their overall mission and goals. 2. Has this organization had contact with you on any legislative items? If so, How? 3.Do you feel the organization influenced your opinion on either bill? Yes No 4. Do you feel the organization influenced the opinion of other legislators on either bill? Yes No 5. How would you evaluate the organization's performance at the legislature? Why? Are you familiar with Colorado NAHAL or the National Abortion Rights Action l&ague? 1. If possible, please describe their overall mission and goals. 2. Has this organization had contact with you on any legislative items? If so, How? 3.Do you feel the organization influenced your opinion on either bill? Yes No 4. Do you feel the organization influenced the opinion of other legislators on either bill? Yes No 5. How would you evaluate the organization's performance at the legislature? Why? 56

PAGE 63

Are you familiar with the Women's Lobby of Colorado? 1. If possible, please describe their overall mission and goals. 2. Has this organization had contact with you on any legislative items? If so, How? 3. Do you feel the organization influenced your opinion on either bill? Yes No 4. Do you feel the organization influenced the opinion of other legislators on either bill? Yes No 5. How would you evaluate the organization's performance at the legislature? Why? Are you familiar with the League of Women Voters? 1. If possible, please describe their overall mission and goals. 2. Has this organization had contact with you on any legislative items? If so, How? 3 .Do you feel the organization influenced your opinion on either bill? Yes No 4. Do you feel the organization influenced the opinion of other legislators on either bill? Yes No 5. How would you evaluate the organization's performance at the legislature? Why? Are you familiar with Colorado NOW or tbe National for Women? 1. If possible, please describe their overall mission and goals. 2. Has this organization had contact with you on any legislative items? 3. Do you feel the organization influenced your opinion on either bill? Yes No 4. Do you feel the organization influenced the opinion of other legislators on either bill? Yes No 5. How would you evaluate the organization's performance at the legislature? Why? 1. Overall, how would you evaluate the effectiveness of the collective of women's organizations active at the Colorado General Assembly. Why? 2. Any final comments you would like to make? 57

PAGE 64

C. REPRESENTATIVES FROM FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS Connie Andenon Legislative Liaison Colorado National Organization for Women Jenny Davies-Schley Political Director Colorado National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League Kate Reinisch Director of Public Affairs Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Chaer Robert Chair, Issues Committee Women's Lobby of Colorado Bill Vandenberg Lobbyist Colorado League ofWomen Voters 58

PAGE 65

Senators Elsie Lacy (R) Arapahoe County Linda Powers (D) D. LEGISLATORS INTERVIEWED Chaffee, Delta, Fremont, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Lake, Park, Pitkin Counties Bob Schaffer (R) Larimer County Dottie Wham (R) Denver County Representatives Debbie Allen (R) Arapahoe County Diana DeGette (D) Denver County Jim Dyer (D) Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan Counties Tim Foster (R) Mesa County Moe Keller (D) Jefferson County Martha Kreutz (R) Arapahoe County Dan Prinster (D) Mesa County Todd Saliman (D) Boulder County Larry Schwarz (R) Custer, Fremont, Pueblo, Teller Counties 59

PAGE 66

REFERENCES Bernstein, Paul, 1995. What Do Interest Groups Social Movements, and Political Parties Do? A Synthesis, American Political Science Association. Boneparth, Ellen & Stoper, Emily, Ed. 1988. Women, Policy and PowerToward the Year 2000, Pergmon Press, New York. Buechler, Steven M. 1993. "Beyond Resource Mobilization Theory? Emerging Trends in Social Movement Theory," The Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 34, No.2, pp. 217-235. Cigler, Allan J., & Burdett, A. Loomis, Ed. 1983 Interest Group Politics, Congressional Quarterly Press, Washington DC. Costain, AnneN. & Costain, Douglas W. 1983. "The Women's Lobby: Impact of a Movement on Congress, Interest Group Politics, Congressional Quarterly Press, Washington, DC. Costain, AnneN. 1988. "Representing Women: The Transition from Social Movement to Interest Group, Women Policy and Power Toward the Year 2000, Boneparth & Stoper, Ed. Pergman Press, pp.33-42. Costain, Anne N. 1992. Inviting Women's Rebellion A Political Process Interpretation of the Women's Movement, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore MD. Dexter, Lewis Anthony, 1970. Elite and Specialized Interviewing, Northwestern University Press, Evanston. Ferree, Myra Marx & Martin, Patricia Yancey, Ed. 1995. Feminist Organizations Harvest of the New Women's Movement, Temple University Press, Philadelphia P A. Ferree, Myra Marx & Hess, Beth B. 1994. Controversy and Coalition The New Feminist Movement Across Three Decades of Change, Rev Ed., Twayne Publishers, New York NY. 60

PAGE 67

Hrebenar, Ronald J. & Scott, Ruth K., 1990 Interest Group Politics in America. 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall, Englewood CliffNJ. Hrebenar, Ronald J. & Thomas, Clive S. 1987 Interest Group Politics in the American :west, University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City UT. Katzenstein, Mary Fainsod, 1995, "Discursive Politics and Feminist Activism in the Catholic Church," Feminist Organizations Harvest of the New Women's Movement, Temple University Press, Philadelphia PA Gelb, Joyce and Palley, Marian Lief 1979. "Women and Interest Group Politics: A Comparative Analysis of Federal Decision Making," The Journal of Politics, Vol. 49 pp. 362-391. McAdam, Doug, 1982. Political Process and the Development ofBlack Insurgency, 19301970, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. Mundo, Philip A. 1992. Interest Groups Cases and Characteristics, Nelson Hall Publishers, Chicago IL. Touraine, Alain, 1985. "An Introduction to the Study of Social Movements," Social Research, Vol. 52, No.4 (Wmter) pp. 749-787. Weiss, Robert Stuart, 1944. Learning from Strangers The Art and Method of Qyalitative Interview Studies, The Free Press," New York, NY. 61