LOBBYLING TIPS

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  • By getting personally involved in the campaigns of candidates who are friendly to A.B.A.T.E., you can have a tremendous impact on the political system.

  • Becoming a Political Warrior takes more than a trip to Harrisburg for the annual Helmet Protest or Lobby Day. Getting to know your elected officials is important. More importantly, however, is putting yourself in a position where you become an important asset for them.

  • Contributing your time to a candidate's election campaign is the best way to make yourself a valued friend.

  • Telephoning a legislator is a legitimate and common form of lobbying, especially when the session is active and the legislation you support or oppose is pending. At these times the legislator can be called directly at his/her capitol or district office.

  • Personally meet with a legislator to communicate your position. Most legislators have office hours in their home districts. Do not be overly concerned if you end up meeting or speaking with staff rather than the legislator. In many cases, this is equally or even more effective. Be sure to treat staff with the same degree of respect you would afford the legislator.

  • Volunteer lobbyists should remember that the legislator may neither have read the bill nor have an understanding of it, so your main job is to educate him/her about its impact.

  • It is best to visit with legislators in a small group (three constituents is optimum) and to keep the visit as brief as possible. One person should lead off as the prearranged spokesperson. Going alone is often unsatisfactory because it is easier for a legislator to out-talk the constituent or for the two to reach an impasse. The small group should create the impression that it is representing many more people.

    During a call or a visit:
  • Attempt to relate to the legislator in a personal way so that the legislator will have a frame of reference when the bill is called for a vote. For example, if there are social, political, or business ties, or a shared community activity in the home district, it may serve as identification when your point of view is considered.

  • Let the legislator know if you are working with others on this issue, if you are active in the community or if you are representing members of your organization. Mention any other group or individual from the district who supports the issue.

  • Briefly state your position on the bill and a concise rationale. Ask for your legislator's position on the bill.

  • A concise one-page fact sheet is a must. Leave it with the legislator as a reminder of the issues and also of the visit ....it should include your name, phone, email and address for follow-up correspondence.

  • After the visit... send a gracious thank-you note. By now, you are closer to your legislator than 99% of his/her constituents...and your "Thank you!" will be remembered.

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