Effectively Advocating and Lobbying Your Elected Officials
Effective Advocating & Lobbying
Your Elected Officials
May 10, 2017
• Represent over 200,000 businesses in 40 states.
• Over 80 business organizations are members.
• Over 130 companies are members.
• Advocate at federal level in Washington, DC.
• Advocate in state capitals.
• Place Op-eds and Policy Statements in media.
• Have Biz leaders be spokes to media on issues.
• Bring Biz leaders to DC to testify & lobby Congress & Administration.
JULIA WATTS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF CAMPAIGNS, ASBC
Julia Watts is the associate director of policy and campaigns for the
American Sustainable Business Council. She leads business organizing
efforts and directs the High Road Workplace Project, an effort championing
responsible workplace policy. Previously she managed organization-wide
advocacy efforts and provided policy expertise on issues related to the
health of the nonprofit sector for the nation’s largest network of human
services providers. Watts is an AmeriCorps alumna. She holds a master’s
degree in public administration from the George Washington University and
a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.
• Business leaders most credible voice
• Responsible businesses essential to the debate
• If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu
WHY BE AN ADVOCATE
• Sequence of an effective lobby visit
• One process, any office
HOW TO DO A LOBBY VISIT
• What do you hope to accomplish with the meeting?
• What is your “ask” of the policymaker/staffer?
• Identify which officeholder is most appropriate
SET YOUR OBJECTIVE
• Call or Email your target office
– Typical office has a position called “Scheduler”
• Ask to meet with the Elected Official/Policymaker
– Identify yourself as a constituent (when possible)
– Identify yourself as a business leader
– List the attendees who will be joining you
– Set a date and time
• Meeting with staff is beneficial, too
REQUEST YOUR MEETING
• Think through your “story”
• Research the policymaker’s background
• Prepare facts, background material
• Identify if there is specific piece of legislation/measure/etc.
• Research recent news stories for your issue
• Create a “leave behind” document
• Don’t hog the talking time
PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE
• Thank the official
• Set a follow up date for response to your “ask”
• Get a picture – use social media*
• Send a thank you (email/letter)
• Follow up!
AFTER THE MEETING