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Effective Advocating & Lobbying Your Elected Officials on Clean Water and other issues

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In this training, we will educate and prepare business leaders to be effective advocates for your issues. Here's what you will learn:

Plan an in-person meeting with policy makers
How to prepare and research for in-person meetings
Execute a successful meeting with policy makers
Post-meeting outreach
Get your message to policy makers when you can't meet in person (outside-in approach)
An overview of water policy where business advocacy can be effective

Speakers:

Melanie Smith - Executive Director of the Delaware Sustainable Business Council, CEO of Sustainable World Strategies, former member of the Delaware House of Representatives

Frank Knapp - CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Owner of the Knapp Agency

Colton Fagundes - Policy Associate at American Sustainable Business Council

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Effective Advocating & Lobbying Your Elected Officials on Clean Water and other issues

  1. 1. Effective Advocating and Lobbying Your Elected Officials on Clean Water and other issues Webinar January 14, 2020
  2. 2. • First elected State Representative in 2002 • Appointed Chair of the House Judiciary Committee in 2009 • Appointed Chair of the powerful Joint Finance Committee. in 2013 • Served 6 year as Chair • Retired from the legislature in 2018 • Practicing attorney since 1997 • Founder and CEO, Sustainable World Strategies Melanie George Smith, Esq. Delaware State Representative, Retired asbcouncil.org/webinars
  3. 3. • Frank is the President and CEO of the 5000+ member advocacy organization, the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, where he has played an influential leadership role in making South Carolina more energy conservant, socially responsible, and small business friendly. In addition to this role and his seat on the ASBC board, Frank also founded the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast and is president of The Knapp Agency. Frank Knapp Jr. CEO South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce asbcouncil.org/webinars
  4. 4. • Colton Fagundes runs the Clean Water is Good for Business campaigns at ASBC. He has a Masters of Global Environmental Policy from American University and has worked extensively on issues of sustainability and agricultural policy for multiple organizations. Colton Fagundes Policy Associate at ASBC asbcouncil.org/webinars
  5. 5. • First elected State Representative in 2002 • Appointed Chair of the House Judiciary Committee in 2009 • Appointed Chair of the powerful Joint Finance Committee. in 2013 • Served 6 year as Chair • Retired from the legislature in 2018 • Practicing attorney since 1997 • Founder and CEO, Sustainable World Strategies Melanie George Smith, Esq. Delaware State Representative, Retired asbcouncil.org/webinars
  6. 6. OVERVIEW • You have an issue. Where do you start? • Who do you reach out to? • What is the most effective way to communicate? • What material is most persuasive to a policy-maker? • What is the best ask? • Follow-up
  7. 7. Where do you start? (1) Know what you want. (2) Do your research on your issue. • Know the benefits • Know what the opposition will say, why they will say it, and a response to it • Know who else is in support of what you want. Other states or cities with similar legislation? Prominent public figures who have spoken out in favor of the issue… (3) Identify public allies or other coalitions with similar goals who are accessible to you and whom you can reach out to for partnership. For example, the Attorney General, Non-Profits, Business Alliances, Civic Alliances, the Insurance Commissioner, the Bank Commissioner, the State Treasurer.
  8. 8. Who do you reach out to? (1) Executive branch or legislative branch? (2) If Legislative  Identify which legislators would be interested in hearing from you. (a) Leadership (b) Committee Chairs (c) Committee Members (d) Your own representative, senator, councilperson (3) If Executive  Call the executive’s office and ask for a meeting with one of his or her staff people to discuss your issue.
  9. 9. What is the most effective way to communicate? 1. In person 2. By phone 3. By email 4. By letter 5. Through social media This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC
  10. 10. What is most persuasive to a policy-maker? 1. Real people with a story to tell 2. Relate to the policy-maker 3. How your issue and its solution aligns with the interests of the policy- maker and his/her district 4. Nailing your research: strong pros and strong arguments negating the opposition 5. Ease of passage/strength of support for the legislation/policy. This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
  11. 11. What is the best ask? 1. Have an ask. 2. If you want legislation, can you draft it and provide it to the legislator? Provide bullet-points in support and negating the opposing arguments? 3. Can you amend an existing bill rather than doing your own separate legislation?
  12. 12. Follow-up 1. Letters/postcards, calls, emails, social media from others in support of what you’re trying to do. 2. Personal, hand-written thank you card. 3. Personally touching-base once a month to provide an update to the legislator(s) whom you are working with. 4. Get to know their staff and work with their staff. This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC
  13. 13. • Frank is the President and CEO of the 5000+ member advocacy organization, the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, where he has played an influential leadership role in making South Carolina more energy conservant, socially responsible, and small business friendly. In addition to this role and his seat on the ASBC board, Frank also founded the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast and is president of The Knapp Agency. Frank Knapp Jr. CEO South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce asbcouncil.org/webinars
  14. 14. • Know your issue well. You might know more about the issue than your Congressperson and possibly (but not likely) the staff person handling the issue. • Know the current position of the Congressperson on the issue and see if they have made any public comments about the issue. Before the Meeting asbcouncil.org/webinars
  15. 15. • Get to know the national or state staff person handling the issue. Contact them by phone or email. Make sure they know that you are a constituent (if you are). They need to feel that you are knowledgeable, have specific concerns that you want to discuss with the Congressperson, and that you are not “crazy”. • Ask for an in-person meeting with the Congressperson either in Washington or in your state. If you have others that you would like to have in that meeting, ask and provide names. You might be referred to the Congressperson’s scheduler. Do Your Research asbcouncil.org/webinars
  16. 16. • If you are not offered a meeting with the Congressperson (not unusual), ask for a meeting with the staff person handling the issue. • Regardless of who you meet with, be prompt, courteous and respectful of the length of time you are given. Work With Their Time asbcouncil.org/webinars
  17. 17. • Describe why you are passionate about the issue, both from a business perspective and personal. Be concise with your concerns and what you would like Congress to do to solve the problem. If the Congressperson has a position or made comments on the issue that you don’t agree with, try to explain why they Make a specific ask of what you would like the Congressperson to do. • You can leave some information at the end of the meeting along with your contact information. In The Meeting asbcouncil.org/webinars
  18. 18. • After the meeting, follow up with a “thank you” email to the staffer and offer to answer any other questions. • If you are told that there will be some action taken to address the issue, follow up with the staffer before the anticipated action to remind them of your ask and then afterwards regardless of how the action turns out. After The Meeting asbcouncil.org/webinars
  19. 19. • Colton Fagundes runs the Clean Water is Good for Business campaigns at ASBC. He has a Masters of Global Environmental Policy from American University and has worked extensively on issues of sustainability and agricultural policy for multiple organizations. Colton Fagundes Policy Associate at ASBC asbcouncil.org/webinars
  20. 20. • Businesses with a stake in clean water • Breweries • Outdoor Recreation Suppliers • Waterside restaurants and lodging • Seafood • Real Estate • Any business that uses water (so basically all!) • ASBC's Clean Water is Good for Business campaigns • Delaware River Watershed – home page and business case document • Upper Mississippi River Basin – home page and business case document Making the Business Case for Clean Water asbcouncil.org/webinars
  21. 21. • This Administrations EPA has been systematically dismantling and weakening aspects of the Clean Water Act, especially any rule changes that were made during the Obama administration § Sign-on in support of the Clean Water Rule keep up-to date on future actions: § Oppose Pollution from Coal-Fired Power Plants § “Toxic Water Rule” or Steam Electric Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) § Comment by going to regulations.gov and entering Docket ID NO. EPA-HQ-OW-2009-0819 by Jan. 21 § Coal Ash Cleanup Delay § Comment by going to Regulations.gov and entering Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2019-0172 by Jan. 31 § Clean Water Resolution needs support in the House from both democrats and republicans! Defending and Improving the Clean Water Act
  22. 22. National Environmental Policy Act • The White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is proposing changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposal would weaken the bedrock environmental law and greatly increase the risk of oil spills and other environmental disasters and hasten the onset of climate change. • Sign-on to ASBC's comment letter opposing the rule change or write your own comment: https://www.asbcouncil.org/add-your-comment-protect-nepa-0
  23. 23. PFAS • Many PFASs are persistent in the environment, bioaccumulate in humans and animals, and elicit a range of toxic effects, including adverse effects on sexual function and fertility, endocrine disrupting capabilities, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and more. • Last week, the House passed H.R. 535, a package of legislation dealing with PFAS contamination. • The Senate has said they will not consider, and the President has threatened to Veto! Call your Senator and demand action! • Sign-on to our campaign here and stay up-to-date on future opportunities to engage: https://www.asbcouncil.org/companies-safer-chemicals-taking-action-pfas
  24. 24. Water Infrastructure • Water infrastructure in many cities has not been upgraded for decades or longer, and significant investment is needed to ensure our continued access to clean water. There are two federal funds to states for water infrastructure: • Clean Water State Revolving Fund • "Grey" stormwater and wastewater infrastructure and "green" stormwater infrastructure • Drinking Water State Revolving Fund • Water Quality and Jobs Protection Act (H.R. 1497) - would inject $16.68 billion into stormwater infrastructure investment over the next five years • Call your Senator and demand they introduce companion legislation!
  25. 25. Other Federal Policies • Land Water Conservation Fund • Current legislation in the Senate (S. 1081) and House (H.R. 3195) would make funding for the program permanent. • Appropriations • Infrastructure funds • LWCF • Regional grant programs • e.g. Delaware River Basin Restoration Program, Greatlakes Restoration Initiative, Chesapeake Bay Program • More funding for Farm Bill Conservation programs that reduce agricultural runoff pollution
  26. 26. State-Level Opportunities • Storm Water Utilities • Demand your State properly implement the Clean Water Act • Fund agricultural conservation program • Potential for innovative new rules, like a recent one in Minnesota state that requires farmers to limit fertilizer application on frozen ground • Implement regional/watershed-based planning: for example, restoration plans, watershed implantation plans, runoff effluent limits and regional stormwater utilities
  27. 27. Questions? Outside Advocacy Techniques asbcouncil.org/webinars
  28. 28. Outside Advocacy Techniques asbcouncil.org/webinars Melanie George Smith, Esq.- Founder and CEO Sustainable World Strategies Melanie@MelanieGeorgeSmith.com www.SustainableWorldStrategies.com Frank Knapp Jr. CEO South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce fknapp@scsbc.org Colton Fagundes cfagundes@asbcouncil.org

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