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Teach Me How to Lobby
Transcript of Teach Me How to Lobby
Brought to you by:
Bruin Lobby Corps
What comes to mind when you think of lobbying?
Lobbying is one of the most basic democratic tools you have to create change
You have a voice!
AN ELECTED OFFICIAL’S
LISTEN to YOU
You actually can make a difference
A lobby visit should always have four basic roles:
In charge of the meeting and agenda
Responsible for laying out the issues to the member
Is personally affected by the issues that you’re lobbying on and shares their story with the legislator or staffer.
Whenever possible, Presenters & Testimonials should be the same person.
In charge of taking
notes during the lobby visit.
8 Steps to a successful lobby visit
Step 1. IDENTIFY YOURSELF AND THE GROUP YOU REPRESENT
When introducing yourself, say something like: “Hey, my name is Joe Bruin and I am a third-year Performing Arts major and President of Mascots at UCLA.
Step 2. MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE MEETING
meeting. Don’t let the member/staffer get off track or control the agenda.
Step 3. STATE YOUR POSITION CLEARLY
Explain your position on the issues.
Step 4. ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
It is your
to ask your elected officials their position on the issues.
Step 5. PROVIDE INFORMATION
Always try to leave behind “one pagers” on the issues you discuss. This gives the member/staffer reference material.
Step 6. USE ALLIES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
If you are meeting with a strong ally of your cause, they probably already have a grasp of your issues. Quickly reiterate your positions, and
start asking questions
Step 7. FOLLOW UP
After a lobby visit, follow up with a letter restating your position and thanking the member/staffer for their time and include any information that you promised to follow up on in the meeting.
Step 8. DEBRIEF
to discuss the nature of the meeting while at the offices of the elected official.
Never speculate about facts you are not sure of. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so – honesty is imperative in the capitol. If it is something you can find out, promise to do so and follow up as soon as possible.
Don’t assume that your member already knows your position or has taken a position yet themselves. Also don’t assume the member or staff understands or know the issue.
Think of ways that you can continue to build a relationship with the member.
We are here to
you and your student organization.
change the world together
Remember that you may only have 15 minutes to present your issues, so be polite but firm when trying to get the focus of the meeting back on the issues you came to talk about.
Use clear arguments and statistics to back up your position including any factsheets.
Personalize the issue.
Use campus-specific examples wherever possible.
Use scripts as an aid, but
If you disagree with their position, say so.
Politicize the issue – make it clear that you will inform students about how the member is going to vote and/or what position they are going to take.
Do your research.
Often times, members and staffers, especially those in leadership, have access to a wealth of information about how to be more effective as student lobbyists, who needs to be convinced, etc.
Tell BLC the substance of the meeting, the member’s positions and determine what the appropriate next steps should be.
Makes sure meeting runs smoothly and efficiently by maintaining control over the meeting, keeping time and staying on topic.
Explains the group’s position and provides the policy arguments, statistical data, and other supporting information
Brings a face and name to the issue being advocated.
Writes down any questions or commitments that the member makes, as well as the questions and commitments you make in the meeting.
Use the meeting report forms in your packet to highlight important information and send to a BLC member.