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Legislative Advocacy Do’s and Don’ts Graham L. Sisson, Jr. SRC Liaison Alabama.

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Presentation on theme: "Legislative Advocacy Do’s and Don’ts Graham L. Sisson, Jr. SRC Liaison Alabama."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Legislative Advocacy Do’s and Don’ts Graham L. Sisson, Jr. SRC Liaison Alabama

3 Overview Legislative Advocacy takes time- it is not a short sprint, but a marathon Know your facts/never lie/be prepared Build a relationship with your legislators- homecooking Work with everyone regardless of partisan politics- disability issues are the right thing to do Do not get discouraged even if the legislator forgets your name or you have to meet with a staffer Follow up with your legislators Practice good etiquette/follows rules of decorum Be prepared

4 Know Your Facts Know material before meeting Facts, figures, legislative and/or regulatory history, etc. Example: ADAAA purpose, when ADA was passed, etc. If you do not know the answer, do not be afraid to admit that ; state that you will research question and get back to him or her Never lie or even fudge on the truth; otherwise your credibility will be at stake

5 Build Relationships Good Homecooking Meet your legislators in your home district Get to know them and local staff Invite them to local events Points to learn about legislators: –Political party/ideology –Committee assignments –District –Voting record on disability issues –How long in elected position –http://thomas.loc.gov

6 Work with Everyone Disability issues are not measured by political party or ideology Advocate from a position of fairness, the right thing to do, not partisanship Do not alienate any potential supporter Build bridges, do not burn them

7 Be Positive Do not get discouraged Legislators may forget your name at first- wear a name tag Sometimes you will meet with a staffer when another event arises

8 Follow up Send follow up letter thanking for meeting Do not send form letter or letter of more than one page Resend one page fact sheet or other concise information (outline of information) If possible, schedule a follow up visit in the home district

9 Follow Rules Schedule meetings in advance Be on time Designate one person to be spokesperson if meeting as a group Introduce yourself and state name of hometown Dress appropriately- business casual Do not speak negatively of other politicians or groups Always follow up with your promises

10 Miscellaneous Practice, practice, practice. Do not be afraid: legislators are people too. Keep discussion to minutes and do not get sidetracked with an inordinate amount of small talk.

11 The End Questions?Comments? Thank you.


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