A GUIDE TO BEING A CITIZEN LOBBYIST
CITIZEN LOBBYISTS ARE THE KEY
The citizen lobbyist has existed nearly as long as democratic government itself. The term “lobbying” originates from the early practice of attempting to influence legislators in the lobby outside of the legislative chambers before a vote. The function of any lobbyist or lobbying campaign is basically the same: Advocate, Educate, and Participate. Contrary to popular perception, lobbying does not need to be complicated or expensive.
People are often hesitant to get involved in the political process for several reasons: they believe legislators only listen to high-powered lobbyists and big donors, they don’t think legislation will affect their lives directly, or they don’t understand how the process works. But the single most important factor in influencing how a legislator votes on a bill is constituent support. And since very few people take the time to contact their legislators, one visit, one phone call, or one letter from a constituent speaks volumes.
The best way to develop relationships with your elected officials is to call, write and visit with them. To set up a meeting with your official, you should first call them, explain your issue in simple and real terms, and request an opportunity to meet with them.
- Your elected offcials are citizens of this country and this state, just like you!
- There is no wrong way to lobby if you stay on message!
- Practice what you want to say first. Practice with family and friends first!
- The goal is not to get legislators and other elected offcials to like you, the goal is for them to see you as a member of their community!
- Everyone in a democratic society has the right to participate in government processes and require accountability from their elected offcial!
- No longer are you a spectator but a key player in the democratic process!
- Your voice matters and you have the tools, talents, and capabilities to address your concerns and expectations with your elected offcials!
As a Federated Woman, we are given the tools to become advocates for our personal values and beliefs. As a member you receive frequent notices of activities and events in which you are able to be involved. Join us