How to Talk to Your Legislators (Lobbying Techniques)
Feb 16, 2016
- The most important lobbying tool is personal contact in the lawmaker’s home district through arranging meetings and site visits. Effective lobbying requires contact on a continuing basis. Learn their preference on email or telephone communication.
- Be well informed about the issues. Knowledge of the legislator and past positions on similar issues is very helpful.
- Know your facts and provide data and rationale to support your position. Use CCOSA Talking Points on issues.
- The “art of persuasion” is one goal of your conversation; but please use common sense and courtesy in delivering your message.
- Be concise and to the point. Do not overkill!
- If you disagree with a legislator, do not argue. Express reasonably and calmly our well-prepared rationale for your position to the legislator.
- If you are asked a question you can no answer, say you don’t know but you will find the answer; get back to them as soon as possible. Do not make up an answer or give wrong information.
- The state legislator often has one administrative assistant, who handles many responsibilities in the office.
- Remember that you do not have to be an expert on every legislative issue. You are the education expert.
- Follow up with a thank you note and maintain open communication with your legislator.