How to institute social change through focused advocacy.
A “social worker by profession,” Sheridan is more popularly known as a “white hat lobbyist” who has fought the good fight on the side of public interest legislation for more than three decades. Here, he combines his sharp intellect, political acumen, and impressive record of successful measures into a sage guide on how social change occurs. While the author believes this moment is “one of the darkest in recent American history,” his unflagging optimism and encouragement are palpable throughout the book. Hoping for better days is simply not enough; what is required is organized, collective participation to change restrictive legislation for the better. With swift prose and a bold tone, Sheridan explains the importance of and the processes through which political action can have the most profound, lasting effects. The author interweaves stories from his distinguished career as a public interest lobbyist, beginning with his early collaborative success alongside Bono (and, surprisingly, Orrin Hatch) in passing the Ryan White Act, making AIDS legislation a priority. Sheridan also championed the Americans with Disabilities Act, lobbied on behalf of human trafficking victims to increase federal funding and awareness, and backed a global youth protection initiative called Save the Children, which required bolstering after Hurricane Katrina. All of these achievements serve as learning points for readers interested in contributing to the greater good. Sheridan’s theory for social justice is based on the foundation of the “3 Ps”—policy, politics, and press—which he claims is the key formula for success in securing progressive change. Overall, the author’s message that even small action can have a collective impact is compelling, and the challenge is for people to “step up, lean in, push harder, and take action” to make American government work better for the people.
An empowering motivational tool for readers interested in proactive politics.