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Advocacy for Everyone- Meeting and Building Relationships with Legislators and Staff ! Robert Robert Riedel M. M. Christopher Tabakin CAN CAN Coordinators.

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Presentation on theme: "Advocacy for Everyone- Meeting and Building Relationships with Legislators and Staff ! Robert Robert Riedel M. M. Christopher Tabakin CAN CAN Coordinators."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Advocacy for Everyone- Meeting and Building Relationships with Legislators and Staff ! Robert Robert Riedel M. M. Christopher Tabakin CAN CAN Coordinators for Kansas and Pennsylvania

3 Today We Will: Go over some basics for meeting and building relationships with Legislators and build relationships. Go over some basics for meeting and building relationships with Legislators and build relationships.

4 What IS Advocacy? Webster’s Webster’s New World Dictionary: Advocacy-The Advocacy-The act of advocating, speaking or writing in support. Advocate-a Advocate-a person who pleads another's cause.

5 Things to Keep in Mind: Before you ever step foot in an office to meet, keep the following things in mind: Politicians are elected to represent you. Politicians are elected to represent you. They want to be re-elected. They want to be re-elected. Help them see “the light”- why your subject is important. Help them see “the light”- why your subject is important. You probably know more! (know your stuff) You probably know more! (know your stuff) Make it personal. Make it personal.

6 Preparation for the Visit-A Few Weeks Before It starts long before you are on the Hill! Schedule the appointment (be specific and ask for a time, but be flexible. Schedule the appointment (be specific and ask for a time, but be flexible. Ask specifically to meet with the congressman/woman if possible. Don’t expect this though. Ask specifically to meet with the congressman/woman if possible. Don’t expect this though.

7 Tips for Scheduling Appointments Leave time in between appointments. It will take time to get from one side of the Hill to the other. Walk or catch a cab. Leave time in between appointments. It will take time to get from one side of the Hill to the other. Walk or catch a cab. Be nice to the scheduler. Be nice to the scheduler.

8 Preparation for the Visit-The Night Before Organize materials-create packets (don’t forget your business cards!) Organize materials-create packets (don’t forget your business cards!) Have pens and notepad available. Have pens and notepad available. Read over materials and know your stuff. Read over materials and know your stuff. Plan out what you will say basically but do not script things out if possible. Be conversational to an extent. Plan out what you will say basically but do not script things out if possible. Be conversational to an extent. Think of personal stories and anecdotes. Think of personal stories and anecdotes.

9 Preparation for the Visit-The Night Before (things you might not think of that make life easier) Get clothes ready- Remember to wear comfortable cloths and shoes (it will be hot) BUT always business attire on the Hill! Get clothes ready- Remember to wear comfortable cloths and shoes (it will be hot) BUT always business attire on the Hill! Look over the map of the Hill and locate offices and mark on map. Look over the map of the Hill and locate offices and mark on map. Look up information about your Congressman/woman (what committees are they on, where are they from, where do they live, do they have children, what religion are they if any, what is important to them, anything else?!) Look up information about your Congressman/woman (what committees are they on, where are they from, where do they live, do they have children, what religion are they if any, what is important to them, anything else?!) Get a good night’s sleep! Get a good night’s sleep!

10 Preparation for the Visit-The Morning Of Your Visit Make sure you are presentable-well groomed etc.- First Impressions are Everything!! Make sure you are presentable-well groomed etc.- First Impressions are Everything!! Get to the Hill early to get your bearing. Get to the Hill early to get your bearing. When entering buildings be prepared for airport type security. Be prepped when you get to the security point. When entering buildings be prepared for airport type security. Be prepped when you get to the security point. Freshen up after entering a building (remember it is hot!). Freshen up after entering a building (remember it is hot!). Eat and drink through the day. Eat and drink through the day.

11 The Visit!! Be on time! Notify the office if you will be late or must cancel. Be on time! Notify the office if you will be late or must cancel. Be flexible if your meeting time changes. Be flexible if your meeting time changes. When you enter the office introduce yourself to the receptionist. Be very nice and state you have an appointment. They can be your best friend in the future! When you enter the office introduce yourself to the receptionist. Be very nice and state you have an appointment. They can be your best friend in the future! Ask for passes to the gallery. Ask for passes to the gallery.

12 The Visit!! Remember Your Manners Stand up straight Stand up straight Smile Smile Look anyone you introduce yourself to in the eye Look anyone you introduce yourself to in the eye Give a good handshake- no wet fish or superman grips Give a good handshake- no wet fish or superman grips Introduce yourself Introduce yourself These things set the stage for a good meeting These things set the stage for a good meeting

13 The Visit!! Your In! Now What? Start by building a bit of rapport- use the information you found out about them to start a brief “chit chat” time. Do the same with a legislative assistant. LA’s can be another one of your best friends. Start by building a bit of rapport- use the information you found out about them to start a brief “chit chat” time. Do the same with a legislative assistant. LA’s can be another one of your best friends. Don’t get railroaded. Don’t get railroaded.

14 The Visit!! Your In! Now What? Do not be surprised if you never see your legislator. Do not be surprised if you never see your legislator. Be pleasantly surprised if you do meet directly with your legislator and use your time very very wisely. Be pleasantly surprised if you do meet directly with your legislator and use your time very very wisely. Your time WILL be limited either way. Your time WILL be limited either way.

15 The Visit!! Your In! Now What? You have a message they NEED to hear. You have a message they NEED to hear. Have “talking points” with notes and use them to guide the conversation. Have “talking points” with notes and use them to guide the conversation. Present the congressman/woman or LA with the packet and briefly explain what is in it. Present the congressman/woman or LA with the packet and briefly explain what is in it. Go through the packet and discuss important points. Go through the packet and discuss important points. Use personal touches (stories etc.) to drive the points home. Use personal touches (stories etc.) to drive the points home.

16 The Visit!! Your In! Now What? Things to Keep in Mind Do not get off topic too far. Sometimes topics shift to the war, Katrina relief, etc. Be thankful and respectful but keep on your point. Ex. Full Funding Do not get off topic too far. Sometimes topics shift to the war, Katrina relief, etc. Be thankful and respectful but keep on your point. Ex. Full Funding Remember your facts and data. Refer back to talking points and notes if needed. (data can be interpreted in various ways –be careful). Remember your facts and data. Refer back to talking points and notes if needed. (data can be interpreted in various ways –be careful).

17 The Visit!! Your In! Now What? Things to Keep in Mind Maintain your focus, do not back down, do not argue, do not threaten- it is ok to disagree on a topic but make sure CEC’s voice is heard and move on. Maintain your focus, do not back down, do not argue, do not threaten- it is ok to disagree on a topic but make sure CEC’s voice is heard and move on. Make sure CEC’s unified view is presented. If you do not agree with a particular point do not address it at that time. Take another opportunity to do that. Make sure CEC’s unified view is presented. If you do not agree with a particular point do not address it at that time. Take another opportunity to do that.

18 The Visit!! Your In! Now What? Things to Keep in Mind If you find yourself in the midst of a HOT TOPIC do not argue and redirect. It will not do any good to make an enemy. If you find yourself in the midst of a HOT TOPIC do not argue and redirect. It will not do any good to make an enemy. Do not make snide comments and do not threaten to not vote for them. Do not make snide comments and do not threaten to not vote for them. You can subtly remind them you are and represent constituents. You can subtly remind them you are and represent constituents. Remain bi-partisan Remain bi-partisan

19 The Visit!! Your In! Now What? Starting to Wrap Up Answer questions with KNOWN answers. Write down others and bring back to CEC. Follow-up! Answer questions with KNOWN answers. Write down others and bring back to CEC. Follow-up! Do not particularly offer solutions. They are elected to do that. Do not particularly offer solutions. They are elected to do that.

20 The Visit!! Your In! Now What? Wrapping Up Remember to always thank them for the time. Remember to always thank them for the time. End the same way you start, with a good handshake and eye contact. Leave them with the same good impression you started with. End the same way you start, with a good handshake and eye contact. Leave them with the same good impression you started with.

21 The Visit is Over. Is That It? Stay in touch Stay in touch or send a thank you note to anyone you met with. This is VERY important for future relationships. or send a thank you note to anyone you met with. This is VERY important for future relationships. Follow-up with things if requested. Follow-up with things if requested. Bring up topics and issues directly in the future. - they asked for it, probably. Bring up topics and issues directly in the future. - they asked for it, probably. Ask for a visit from the congressman/woman. Ask for a visit from the congressman/woman.

22 Sure the Visit is Over, But Keep Going! Go to local, state, and federal events. Always take advantage of opportunities. Go to local, state, and federal events. Always take advantage of opportunities. Volunteer for an election. Volunteer for an election. Volunteer at a polling place on voting day. Volunteer at a polling place on voting day. Show up and be seen.Become known as a face and name for your cause. Show up and be seen.Become known as a face and name for your cause. Build the relationship aspect whenever possible. Build the relationship aspect whenever possible.

23 Be an Advocate Be visible-show up in places to get yourself known (previously known as lurking). Be visible-show up in places to get yourself known (previously known as lurking). Make friends (keep your friends close and your “enemies” closer). Make friends (keep your friends close and your “enemies” closer).

24 Congratulations Your Ready! Your Ready!

25 Thanks! Making a difference in even one life changes history Making a difference in even one life changes history


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