Washington, D.C., is home to one of the best food-truck scenes in the country. But last year the city’s mayor asked the council to approve new and sweeping restrictions that, if enacted, would have made D.C. one of the worst cities in America for mobile vending. This was a story we were all-too-familiar with—and if you’re familiar with it, too, then this guide is for you.
Activists nationwide have also used the information in IJ’s Eminent Domain Abuse Survival Guide to successfully protect their homes and small businesses from eminent domain abuse—when the government seizes your property not for a constitutional public use, like a road, but in order to hand it over to a private developer.
Despite being the backbone of the American economy, entrepreneurs are often confronted with senseless laws that hurt their business or “protectionist” rules designed by their competitors to shut them out of the marketplace.
Fortunately, the U.S. Constitution protects every American’s right to economic liberty: the right to earn an honest living, free from arbitrary, burdensome, or protectionist regulation. IJ is here to defend that right. When necessary, we do this through litigation. We also organize those whose rights are being denied by government, giving them a voice and empowering them to change public policy.
We weren’t about to stand idly by and allow the D.C. Council to approve restrictions that threatened to put the city’s 200 food trucks out of business. We jumped in and helped the D.C. Food Truck Association formulate an activism, communications and lobbying campaign that rallied their customers to their cause.
The food truck association created a website, put ads on the sides of city buses that featured the hashtag “#savedcfoodtrucks,” kept petitions near the windows of their trucks, and testified at city council hearings. And it worked. The city council bowed to the public pressure and rejected the mayor’s proposal—a big win for economic liberty and food truck entrepreneurs.
Through dozens of grassroots victories like the D.C. food trucks fight, IJ has developed an expertise in community organizing, local outreach, and messaging liberty. We have compiled these battle-tested strategies into the Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide to share that knowledge with you, giving you the tools to succeed in your own fight for economic liberty. This blueprint for a successful grassroots campaign gives you step-by-step instructions for everything from building an online presence to developing a legislative strategy to mobilizing your supporters.
Whether you are fighting city hall for the first time or you are a seasoned activist, the Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide contains a wealth of valuable information. If you are an entrepreneur struggling with arbitrary, burdensome or anti-competitive laws, this guide is for you.
And remember: don’t be discouraged. Organized special interests may have money and may have all the influence (for now). But you are right. As the hard-working activists and mobile entrepreneurs of the nation’s capital will tell you, you can fight back against regulations—and you can win.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your free copy of the Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide, and tell us about the fight in your local community.
— Garrett Atherton
Garrett Atherton is the outreach coordinator at the Institute for Justice