it should be the trio’s ( August, Emma, Henry ) utmost concern to be able to work against the curse covertly
I expect August to be a significant resource in keeping the trio’s work covert. He has shown us a great sense of being mysterious and appears keen on withholding information. Once Henry trusts him more, the two could follow your info gathering recommendation superbly.
I think the first thing they would need to do is find out how large Regina’s network is & how far her influence reaches.
In addition to assessing Regina’s network, it will help break the curse if the trio can determine how many members of her network are eager to turn against her once their is a winning opposition to join. In Oz, the palace guards exclaimed “Hurray for Dorothy!” when their Wicked Witch was dead.
Emma has a bad problem with being to blunt with her judgement ( & she fails miserably in terms of being sneaky. )
I’m hoping Emma will become less quick to judge and thus better at being sneaky as she realizes she really is the daughter of Snow White and she really has magical abilities. The soliloquy from Jefferson in the Hat Trick episode appeared to move Emma in that desirable direction.