If you are concerned that unregulated development may be taking place in your community and feel action needs to be taken, here are some steps you can follow that may help*:
- Create an organization made up of interested parties
- Set a mission or goal for your group, it can be one issue, in which case you disband once it is addressed, or it can focus on a more general concern
- Get your group or association legally incorporated so you are protected from personal liability
- Elect officers and share tasks: for instance decide who is going to be the spokesperson (people) so you can have one consistent, clear message, who will organize events, manage funds raised, etc
- Set up a website, Facebook page or other way to share information with the community around you
- Document EVERYTHING including phone calls (times/dates/who you spoke to and the content of the conversation, letters emailed and sent and response (or lack there of), meetings and conversations.
- Try to put as much as possible in writing and get a delivery receipt when you can
- Keep records of all stories relating to the issue that appear in the press
- Figure out which, if any, laws are being broken. Bahamian Laws are available on line: http://laws.bahamas.gov.bs/cms/
- Write letters to relevant government officials, ministries and offices, local and national requesting to see all permits and approvals and informing them of concerns about alleged illegal activity.
People that need to be written with regard to developments are:
- Prime Minister & Minister of Finance, The Hon. Perry Christie
- Deputy PM & Minister of Works and Urban Development, The Hon. Philip E. Brave Davis
- Minister of the Environment and Housing, The Hon. Kenred Dorsett
- Port Authority (anything to do with the sea)
- Ministry of Works (land)
- Lands and Surveys in Nassau can also be a good resource
- BEST Commission Philip Weech
A list of phone numbers and mailing addresses for all of the Ministers, Members of Parliament and Senators are available on the Save The Bays’s website.
Spread the word
- Write press releases and send to all papers, traditional and online.
- Use social media, for instance create a Facebook page for your group to share information with your supporters
- Get on radio shows to discuss the issue
- Create ad campaign to inform public what is going on
- Have meetings to inform public
- Always tell the TRUTH
- Solicit for volunteers, members, donations, etc.
Helpful links to activists kits and tools for activists from a variety of sources:
If you move forward and form an organization and decide you would like to request assistance from Save The Bays, or are interested in becoming a community partner, please download this Community Partner Contact Form and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
*The above are intended to be helpful suggestions and are not to be considered completely accurate for every situation. Each case is unique and it would be good to consult with Save The Bays or other agencies to further advise.