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Lobbying 101: Delivering Your Message To Elected Officials
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  1. Lobbying 101:Delivering Your MessageTo Elected Officials Margie Metzler (916) 248-6148; margiemetz@hotmail.com August 14, 2013

  2. Advocacy vs Lobbying Both = influencing public officials to take a specific position on a piece of legislation or take a desired action Advocacy is intended to improve the social, economic, political environment Advocacy is intended to affect improvement of the community – or some subset within the community Advocacy is typically done by citizens or 501(c)(3)s 501(c)(3)s can spend up to 20 percent of budget on lobbying* Nonprofit organizations can and shouldlobby *According to the Internal Revenue Code.

  3. Advocacy vs Lobbying • Lobbyists are generally paid and represent specific industries or companies • Lobbyists must comply with various ethical and lobbying disclosure laws governing their activities

  4. What is Advocacy? • Education of legislators • Strategic influence • Getting information/ establishing relationship with legislators and their staffs • Creating awareness on both sides • Suggesting Improvements to people who have power • Getting a legislator to take on legislation you want • Offering help and support

  5. What is Lobbying Activity? • Spending money • Attempting to influence • Legislative or administrative advocacy • What we have beendoing is bird-dogging,not lobbying

  6. What can you offer elected officials? • Compelling stories • Expert knowledge • Community perspective • Raising awareness in the community • Thanks when they are doing the “right thing”

  7. Studies: Is advocacy really effective? • Staffers surveyed said that constituents’ visits to the Washington office (97%) and to the district/state office (94%) have some or a lot of influence on an undecided member • When asked about strategies directed to their offices back home, staffers said questions at town hall meetings (88%) and letters to the editor (80%) have some or a lot of influence http://www.independentsector.org/governance_ethics_resource_center

  8. Studies: Is advocacy really effective? • Constituents who make the effort to personally communicate with their Senators and Representative--except via fax—are more influential than lobbyists and news editors • Nearly identical percentages of staffers said postal mail (90%) and email (88%) would have influence on an undecided Member of Congress

  9. SUCCESSFUL ADVOCACY :Consider the motivations of public officials • Build relationships with decision makers • Conduct “power analysis” – identify which decision makers to target • Make allocation of resources based on “What activity is most likely to motivate this particular public official?”

  10. Levels Federal Members of President/Congress State State Legislators/Agencies Local City Council, County Board of Supervisors

  11. How to Set up a Meeting Call to find out whom to contact Include the date, time, and topic Be flexible Call back in a week

  12. Meeting with Your Legislator Try to meet face to face Research committee assignments and specialties Establish rapport with legislator AND STAFF Leave informational one page Leave your business card and take one from staff Thank your Assembly member, Senator, City Council Member or County Supervisor

  13. MeetingTips Identify yourself as a constituent Have a clear "ask” Explain why it’s needed Give local examples Ask their position and why they hold it

  14. Meeting Tips (continued) Don’t neglect legislators on the opposite side Ask your legislator about specific votes Take materials with you

  15. Lobbying Don’ts Don’t cover too many issues in a visit Don’t be argumentative Don’t expect them to be specialists Don’t do all the talking

  16. After Your Visit Always follow up with a Thank You Volunteer to be a resource contact

  17. Information on Lobbying Regulations • Alliance for Justice • advocacy@afj.org • 866-675-6229 • www.afj.org • For fact sheets and publications • Independent Sector:http://www.independentsector.org/governance_ethics_resource_center

  18. Resources • Detailed info: how a federal bill becomes a law: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/lawsmade.toc.html • Federal legislation: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php • State legislation:http://www.legislature.ca.gov/port-bilinfo.html or http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/

  19. Contacting the White House • Contact online: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments • Call: • Comments: 202-456-1111 • Switchboard: 202-456-1414 • TTY/TTD Comments: 202-456-6213 • Visitor's Office: 202-456-2121 • Write a letter to the President • The White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500

  20. Contact Senators • All Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm • Dianne Feinstein: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/ • Barbara Boxer: http://www.boxer.senate.gov/ 501 I Street, Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814(916) 448-2787; 501 I Street, Suite 7-600Sacramento, CA 95814; (916) 448-2787; (202) 228-3865 fax

  21. Contact Congress Members • Find all Members of Congress:  (202) 225-3121 http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ • Doris Matsui (http://matsui.house.gov) • Ami Bera http://bera.house.gov/contact DC, 1408 Longworth Bldg,  (202) 225-5716. Rancho, 11070 White Rock Road, Suite 195, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 Phone: (916) 635-0505 • Tom McClintock: http://mcclintock.house.gov/contact/index.shtml

  22. Contact State Legislators • Find Senators or assembly members; contact info; maps: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts/legislators/your_legislator.html • Bill info: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/port-bilinfo.html or http://www.leginfo.ca • Pocket Directory of the California Legislature: Capitol gift shop or app at www.govbuddy.com

  23. Have fun!