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Lobbying 101:Delivering Your MessageTo Elected Officials Margie Metzler (916) 248-6148; email@example.com August 14, 2013
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.
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
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
What is Lobbying Activity? • Spending money • Attempting to influence • Legislative or administrative advocacy • What we have beendoing is bird-dogging,not lobbying
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”
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
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
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?”
Levels Federal Members of President/Congress State State Legislators/Agencies Local City Council, County Board of Supervisors
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
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
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
Meeting Tips (continued) Don’t neglect legislators on the opposite side Ask your legislator about specific votes Take materials with you
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
After Your Visit Always follow up with a Thank You Volunteer to be a resource contact
Information on Lobbying Regulations • Alliance for Justice • firstname.lastname@example.org • 866-675-6229 • www.afj.org • For fact sheets and publications • Independent Sector:http://www.independentsector.org/governance_ethics_resource_center
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/
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
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
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
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