Citizens Resolution (Task Force)/How to Lobby

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Lobbying Legislators

Start with an introduction:

The "Art of Introduction" is choosing which facts about yourself you choose to share to an elected official, either in person or on paper.  Making a personal connection to a legislator increases the legitimacy of an issue for the elected official. Your introduction should include:

  • Your name and some identifying characteristic, such as the type of work you do
  • The name of the bill you are lobbying in support of
  • Your connection to your state/district (where you live/work/vote/go to school)
  • Your relationship to community, or why civil rights laws like this bill matter to you
  • Why this issue is important to you and why the legislators should support it.

Here are some other facts about yourself you may want to include in your introduction.  Don’t try to use your answers to all of the suggested questions, but use the questions as a guide to think about what facts you could use to strengthen your introduction.

  • How many years have you lived your legislator’s district?  Did you grow up there?
  • Did you attend the public school system there?
  • Did you originally move there to attend college and now plan to stay?
  • What do you love about the district?
  • What is your current or past occupation(s)?
  • Do you belong to a union or a professional association?
  • What are your community connections?
  • What organizations do you belong to or lead?  (Neighborhood Associations, Parent-Teacher Associations, Steering committees, Boards, Churches/Synagogues, GLBT, etc…)
  • Do you have children?
  • What school do they attend?

Explain why you support this legislation, and why your legislator should.  A few things to keep in mind:

  • Why does this issue matter to you? 
  • Who do you know that is has affected?  (family member, partner, friend, co-worker, teacher, etc)
  • Why should YOUR legislators care? 
    (You work/live/vote, you are writing about something personal or emotional that might affect their constituency, etc.)
  • What are the most important things you need to get across? 

The big finish:

Thank the legislator for their attention to this matter and request a response about where they stand on the bill.  For instance: I would like to know if you will support…