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Politics: Making A Difference Randy Moody National Education Association July 2009 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Politics: Making A Difference Randy Moody National Education Association July 2009 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Politics: Making A Difference Randy Moody National Education Association July 2009 1

2 Legislators See Themselves As… Bright Hardworking Unresponsive to Pressure Detached & Objective Responsive to the People Potential Governors, Senators & Presidents

3 We See Legislators As… Ignorant About Our Issues Average Ambitious Inconsistent Unresponsive

4 The Truth is…. Most are conscientious Brighter than average Trying to do the right thing, as they see it More responsive to pressure than they think They are more likely to do things for people they know and trust

5 Our Role Legislators think our role is to provide input they balance against others to make an objective decision. Our role is really to persuade them to do what we want them to do.

6 Elections are the Energy that Drive the System The desire to win election is the thing that makes representative government representative The most important thing about what passes the legislature is who sits there.

7 Bottom Line: Every vote counts so lobbying is critical Need to make your message stand out from all the noise 7

8 How Can You Stand Out? Help elect folks sympathetic to your issues (politics 101) Be an effective lobbyist (lobbying 101) 8

9 Politics 101: Getting Involved 9

10 Getting Involved Politically Register to vote… and vote in every election. Contribute to candidates, PACS, and Political Parties Attend political meetings on a regular basis; get to know leaders and decision makers. 10

11 Stay informed… frequently check for the latest updates. E-mail, write, call, visit state legislators and Members of Congress regularly and ask for support on your issues. Find your niche -- figure out how you can be most effective. 11

12 Use new media! 12

13 Start small-- The political process can be very daunting, but local political parties count on new people to help fill in the gaps. Staying focused and motivated will bring political change! 13

14 14 Making Your Voice Heard: Lobbying 101

15 According to Websters Dictionary: lobby intransitive verb : to conduct activities aimed at influencing public officials and especially members of a legislative body on legislation transitive verb 1 : to promote (as a project) or secure the passage of (as legislation) by influencing public officials 2 : to attempt to influence or sway (as a public official) toward a desired action 15

16 Methods of Political Communication 16 Telephone Email/Electronic Direct Mail/Print Face to Face One on One Groups

17 Face to Face One–on-One Pros: More personal Inexpensive Most effective Can get an immediate response 17

18 Face to Face One-on-One Cons: Time consuming Can be intimidating to volunteers Difficult to monitor 18

19 OVERVIEW: 1. Recruit people interested in lobbying Give them the tools to make your case Make them PASSIONATE about your issues 2. Prepare for meeting 3. Educate Members of Congress 4. Keep policymakers updated on your issues – especially when you arent asking for something 19

20 CONSTITUENTS MATTER! It is important to emphasize a connection to the legislator. Utilize local contacts, lots of work can be done back home. 20

21 Recruiting Folks to Lobby Issues come first; candidates and parties second Present information credibly and objectively Downplay partisan rhetoric 21

22 Keep message of, by, and for the people lobbying Information is key to increasing participation Address concerns of specific groups 22

23 Use new media to reach members 23

24 The Message The message reflects your values priorities. The message makes a point, is true and is believable. The one, two or three things you want to say about an issue. 24

25 What a message IS NOT… The silver bullet Slogan/bumper sticker Dumbing down 25

26 Why care about message? Opponents care – and they use message to make their points. 26

27 Building a message First questions… Who is our audience? What do we want them to think? What do we want them to do? 27

28 Message Development Frame the argument Dont debate Use facts to advance the message What matters is how people feel in the end 28

29 Message Development Resonance Its easier to build on a preconceived notion than to dispel one. Strike a responsive cord Find three or four points that always work. Keep it simple 29

30 Who to Lobby On Any Given Question Legislators Divide Into 3 Groups 1.Those who know and care about the issue and are with you 2.Those who know and care about the issue and are against you 3.And, the majority of the legislators who are not interested or informed about the issues -- Focus persuasion efforts on these people

31 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LEGISLATORS & STAFF They are extremely busy so make an appointment Make sure to speak with a scheduler Unable to co-sponsor / support everything – always prioritizing Most responsive to people with long term relationships keep in touch when you have no particular agenda 31

32 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW… Committees they serve on Are they in leadership positions? Issues they have supported in the past Legislation they have introduced Whats their reputation? 32

33 Before your Meeting… Define your goals Gather your facts Plan your group strategy Prepare your materials 33

34 During Your Meeting Introduce yourself and the team Remain focused Tell your story Get a commitment Allow time for questions Respect the schedule Leave behind your supporting materials 34

35 YOUR PRESENTATION KEEP IT SHORT A concise presentation is most effective. Members and their staff have 15 to 30 minutes per visit. You may be interrupted at anytime. 35

36 YOUR PRESENTATION BE FOCUSED Talk about your goals in numbers where possible: Jobs Dollars Constituents that benefit 36

37 YOUR PRESENTATION HAVE A SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE Have a one-pager Know how the issue affects you Be knowledgeable about the details Be persuasiveuse your personal stories Ask for your legislators support 37

38 After Your Meeting… Debrief Write a thank you note Sustain the relationship 38

39 The Ten Golden Rules of Lobbying 1.Politics is consumer driven 2.Do Your Homework! 3.Information is Power 39

40 The Ten Golden Rules of Lobbying 4.A Little Professionalism goes a long way 5.Be Positive! 6.There are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies 40

41 The Ten Golden Rules of Lobbying 7.Build a bond, not a gap. 8.Be a partner. 9.Rome was not built in a day! 41

42 And Finally… 10. Stay Committed!!! Remember : You are the expert!! You have a compelling, energizing reason to keep fighting until you get what you need! 42

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