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How to Advocate Effectively 19 th Annual Transportation Disadvantaged Best Practices and Training Workshop August 9-11 2011 ● Daytona Beach, Florida.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Advocate Effectively 19 th Annual Transportation Disadvantaged Best Practices and Training Workshop August 9-11 2011 ● Daytona Beach, Florida."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Advocate Effectively 19 th Annual Transportation Disadvantaged Best Practices and Training Workshop August 9-11 2011 ● Daytona Beach, Florida

2 How to Advocate Effectively What is Lobbying? Analyze the Power A “Look” at Washington A “Look” at Tallahassee Effective Communication

3 Why is advocacy important? If YOU don’t educate elected officials about the benefits of your efforts… Who will? “Les absents ont toujours tort!” (The absent are always wrong!)

4 What is lobbying? Attempting to influence, either directly or indirectly, specific legislative action in Congress or state legislatures. The IRS Test The communication must deal with specific legislation (e.g. Bill No. “X”) The communication must reflect a view on such legislation. The communication must ask the recipient to take action on such legislation.

5 Lobbying is NOT… Advocating for general policy goals. Educating legislators about the pros and cons of various policy options. Gathering legislative information and analyzing bills. Attending committee hearings or legislative sessions. Reporting on legislative developments. Providing technical advice and assistance to legislators.

6 Lobbying is also NOT… Responding to written requests for information from legislators. Testifying before a committee in response to a written invitation. Identifying unmet transportation needs. Advocating general support for a particular program, such as expanding the CMAQ program. Documenting deficiencies in existing programs and/or funding levels, such as the CMAQ program.

7 The “Analyze the Power” Quiz Can you tell the players without a scorecard?

8 Key Congressional Leaders House Speaker – Majority Leader – Minority Leader – Senate President – President Pro Tempore – Majority Leader – Minority Leader –

9 Key Congressional Leaders House Speaker – John Boehner (R-OH) Majority Leader – Eric Cantor (D-VA) Minority Leader – Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Senate President – Joe Biden (US Vice President) President Pro Tempore – Daniel Inouye (D-HI) Majority Leader – Harry Reid (D-NV) Minority Leader – Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

10 Florida Senate Leadership Offices Senate President Mike Haridopolos Republican Melbourne President Pro Tempore Mike Bennett Republican Bradenton Majority Leader Andy Gardiner Republican Orlando Minority Leader Nan Rich Democrat Sunrise

11 Congress at Your Fingertips

12 Congressional Yellow Book


14 How a bill becomes a law:

15 Who is my State Senator?

16 The Power Structure in a Federal Legislator’s Office

17 What a Congressional Office Does Sizes of staff House average: 17 Senate average: 40 Capitol Hill staff Legislative issues District or state staff Local projects and constituent concerns Congressional Committees Expert staff

18 Power Structure in State Legislator’s Office

19 The Federal Players Be mindful of what committee the Congressman you are working with is on Committee structure is key Work with the legislators that represent your district as well as those in your area that sit on committees that effect your issue

20 The Federal Players Committee Staff Committee Staff are responsible for drafting legislation proposed by a committee 95% of all major legislation is drafted by committee staff Committee staff are referred to as key holders or gate keepers

21 U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Majority Members Mica, John (R-FL), Chair Young, Don (R-AK) Petri, Tom (R-WI) Coble, Howard (R-NC) Duncan, John (R-TN) LoBiondo, Frank (R-NJ) Miller, Gary (R-CA) Johnson, Timothy (R-IL) Graves, Sam (R-MO) Shuster, Bill (R-PA) Shelley Moore Capito (WV) Jean Schmidt (OH) Candice Miller (MI) Duncan Hunter (CA) Andy Harris (MD) Rick Crawford (AR) Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA) Frank Guinta (NH) Randy Hultgren (IL) Lou Barletta (PA) Chip Cravaack (MN) Blake Farenthold (TX) Larry Bucshon (IN) Billy Long (MO) Bob Gibbs (OH) Patrick Meehan (PA) Richard Hanna (NY) Jeff Landry (LA) Steve Southerland (FL) Jeff Denham (CA) James Lankford (OK) Reid Ribble (WI) Chuck Fleischmann (TN) Minority Members Rahall, Nick (D-WV), RM DeFazio, Peter (D-OR) Costello, Jerry (D-IL) Holmes-Norton, E. (D-DC) Nadler, Jerrold (D-NY) Brown, Corrine (D-FL) Filner, Bob (D-CA) Johnson, E. Bernice (D-TX) Cummings, Elijah (D-MD) Boswell, Leonard L.(D-IA) Holden, Tim (D-PA) Larsen, Rick (D-WA) Capuano, Michael (D-MA) Bishop, Timothy (D-NY) Michaud, Michael (D-ME) Carnahan, Russ (D-MO) Grace Napolitano (CA) Daniel Lipinski (IL) Mazie Hirono (HI) Jason Altmire (PA) Timothy Walz (MN) Heath Shuler (NC) Steve Cohen (TN) Laura Richardson (CA) Albio Sires (NJ) Donna Edwards (MD)

22 U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Majority Members Camp, Dave (MI), Chair Herger, Wally (CA) Johnson, Sam (TX) Brady, Kevin (TX) Ryan, Paul (WI) Nunes, Devin (CA) Tiberi, Pat (OH) Davis, Geoff (KY) Reichert, Dave (WA) Boustany, Charles (LA) Roskam, Peter (IL) Gerlach, Jim (PA) Price, Tom (GA) Buchanan, Vern (FL) Smith, Adrian (NE) Schock, Aaron (IL) Jenkins, Lynn (KS) Paulsen, Erik (MN) Marchant, Kenny (TX) Berg, Rick (ND) Black, Diane (TN) Reed, Tom (NY) Minority Members Levin, Sander (MI), RM Rangel, Charles (NY) Stark, Pete (CA) McDermott, Jim (WA) Lewis, John (GA) Neal, Richard (MA) Becerra, Xavier (CA) Doggett, Lloyd (TX) Thompson, Mike (CA) Larson, John (CT) Blumenauer,,Earl (OR) Kind, Ron (WI) Pascrell, Bill (NJ) Berkley, Shelly (NV) Crowley, Joseph (NY)

23 U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Majority Members Barbara Boxer, CA (Chair) Max Baucus, MT Thomas Carper, DE Frank Lautenberg, NJ Benjamin Cardin, MD Bernard Sanders, VT Sheldon Whitehouse, RI Tom Udall, NM Jeff Merkley, OR Kirsten Gillibrand, NY Minority Members James Inhofe, OK (RM) David Vitter, LA John Barasso, WY Jeff Sessions, AL Michael Crapo, ID Lamar Alexander, TN Mike Johanns, NE John Boozman, AR

24 U.S. Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee Majority Members Tim Johnson, SD (Chair) Jack Reed, RI Charles Schumer, NY Robert Menendez, NJ Daniel Akaka, HI Sherrod Brown, OH Jon Tester, MT Herb Kohl, WI Mark Warner, VA Jeff Merkley, OR Michael Bennett, CO Kay Hagan, NC Minority Members Richard Shelby, AL (RM) Michael Crapo, ID Bob Corker, TN Jim DeMint, SC David Vitter, LA Mike Johanns, NE Patrick Toomey, PA Mark Kirk, IL Jerry Moran, KS Roger Wicker, MS

25 U.S. Senate Finance Committee Majority Members Max Baucus, MT (Chair) Jay Rockefeller, WV Kent Conrad, ND Jeff Bingaman, NM John Kerry, MA Ron Wyden, OR Charles Schumer, NY Debbie Stabenow, MI Maria Cantwell, WA Bill Nelson, FL Robert Menendez, NJ Thomas Carper, DE Benjamin Cardin, MD Minority Members Orrin Hatch, UT (Ranking Member) Charles Grassley, IA Olympia Snowe, ME Jon Kyl, AZ Mike Crapo, ID Pat Roberts, KS John Ensign, NV John Cornyn, TX Tom Coburn, OK John Thune, SC

26 The State Players Be mindful of what committee the legislator you are working with is on Committee structure is key Work with the legislators that represent your district as well as those in your area that sit on committees that effect your issue

27 The State Players Committee Staff Committee staff are responsible for drafting legislation proposed by a committee Major legislation is drafted by committee staff (typically with help from DOT policy staff) Committee staff are referred to as key holders or gate keepers

28 Florida Senate Transportation Committee Jack Latvala, Chair (R-St. Petersburg) Greg Evers, Vice Chair (R-Pensacola) Lizbeth Benacquisto, (R-Fort Myers) Larcenia Bullard, (D-Miami) Rene Garcia, (R-Hialeah) Arthenia Joyner, (D-Tampa) Ronda Storms, (R-Brandon) Staff Marc Slager, Policy Advisor River Buford, Staff Director

29 Florida House Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee Republicans (10) Brad Drake (Chair), DeFuniak Springs Dennis Baxley (Vice Chair), Ocala Janet Adkins, Fernandina Beach Larry Ahern, St. Petersburg Ben Albritton, Bartow Frank Artiles, Miami Douglas Broxson, Milton Mike Horner, Kissimmee Peter Nehr, Tarpon Springs Michael Weinstein, Orange Park Democrats (5) Irv Slosberg (Ranking Member), Boca Raton Lori Berman, Delray Beach Jeff Clemens, Lake Worth Darryl Rouson, St. Petersburg Richard Steinberg, Miami Beach

30 Analyze YOUR Power It is important to know what YOUR assets are… Supportive CEO’s/Public Officials Supportive local associations and organizations General Public Funding to hire professional consultants (lobbyist)

31 Effective Communication What did the 170 offices contacted by Burson- Marsteller (1992) rate as the most effective means of communication with congressional staff? Letters? Office Visits? Telephone Calls? Media? Other?

32 Highest-Ranked Sources of Communication 1.Spontaneous letters from constituents 2.Office visits from constituents 3.Articles in state/district newspapers 4.Telephone calls from opinion leaders in the state/district 5.Congressional Research Service 6.Telephone calls from constituents 7.Office visits from CEOs of businesses in state/district 8.Editorials in state/district newspapers 9.Office visits from delegations from interest groups, incl. constituents 10.Telephone calls from state-elected or party officials

33 Highest-Ranked Sources of Communication: Letters 1.Spontaneous, from constituents 2.Spontaneous, from state-elected or party officials 3.Orchestrated, from constituents 4.Spontaneous, from interest groups 5.Orchestrated, from interest groups

34 Highest-Ranked Sources of Communication: Office Visits 1.Constituents 2.CEOs of businesses in state/district 3.Delegations from interest groups, incl. constituents 4.Long-standing friends or contacts with an interest 5.Company’s Washington representatives 6.Lobbyists 7.Representatives of trade associations 8.Well-known personalities with an interest 9.Delegations from interest groups, not incl. constituents

35 Highest-Ranked Sources of Communication: Telephone Calls 1.Opinion leaders in the state/district 2.Constituents 3.State-elected or party officials 4.Friends or contacts with an interest 5.The executive branch 6.Well-known personalities with an interest 7.Members of interest groups

36 Highest-Ranked Sources of Communication: Media 1.Articles in state/district newspapers 2.Editorials in state/district newspapers 3.Opinion or op-ed pieces in state/district newspapers 4.News programs on TV stations in the state/district 5.Articles in major daily newspapers 6.National TV news 7.News programs on radio stations in the state/district 8.Editorials in major daily newspapers 9.Radio talk shows in the state/district 10.Letters to the editor in major daily newspapers 11.Articles in national news magazines 12.Opinion or op-ed columns in national news magazines

37 Highest-Ranked Sources of Communication: Other 1.Congressional Research Services 2.Media-sponsored public opinion polls 3.Privately-sponsored public opinion polls 4.Petition papers from interest groups 5.Position papers from regulatory and executive agencies 6.Communication with think tanks 7.Economic studies conducted by independent consultants

38 Basic Rules for Success Keep it local Keep it personal Keep it concise Put it in writing “All politics are local.” Tip O’Neillll

39 Who should I be talking with? For policy issues you should be in constant contact with the LA or LD that handles transportation When you need definite action schedule a meeting with the legislator face-to-face District office managers should be invited/included in all local events Keep your member informed at all times, as well as those members in your area sitting on committees involved with your issues

40 What should I communicate? Invite your legislators and their staff to all public events/workshops/meetings. Be sure to follow up with them to try and get some attendance. Meet individually with your legislators and other members in your area at least once or twice a year Meet with legislative staff either in the Capital or in the district at least once every other month.

41 How often should I communicate? Make it a point to touch base with your legislator in some way once or twice a month via email, phone call or personal meeting

42 Requests for Personal Visits Fax Requests Make sure legislature is in session Tuesday-Thursdays are best days to meet Make sure the meeting requires the legislator’s attendance CC: meeting request to staff you are working with

43 Sessions Regular Meets 1st Tuesday after 1st Monday in March May last 60 days (incl. Saturdays & Sundays) May be extended by 60% vote of both houses Special Governor may convene by proclamation Senate President and House Speaker, acting jointly, may convene May not exceed 20 days, unless extended by 60% vote of both houses

44 Personal Visits Be prepared and on time for all meetings Have handouts readily available for staff and members. Make sure the information is concise as legislators receive an abundant amount of information Offer a brief introduction of who you are, who you represent, and any common connections

45 Personal Visits Don’t turn down the opportunity to meet with staff, if the legislator cannot meet your schedule. Always have a specific request Ask how the legislator wants to follow up… What are the next steps? Be gracious and relaxed… Remember, YOU are the expert on the subject, and YOU have the info the legislator needs.

46 Effectively communicate your message Always address all written communication to the Legislator and put it to the attention of the appropriate staff Never use Snail Mail… Use FedEx or UPS to send urgent information Fax/Email/Phone Calls/Personal Meetings are best techniques

47 Letters Know your subject What is the substance of the legislation? Why is it important? What will happen if it passes? What will be the consequences if it fails? How much will it cost? WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT OF THE LEGISLATION ON THE LEGISLATOR’S CONSTITUENTS? Give an illustration or two of how the problem will affect the legislator’s district.

48 Letters If you know the legislator, make that clear in the first paragraph. In the first paragraph, ask for the action you want the legislator to take. Use personal or business letterhead with return address. Handwritten letters are fine, if legible. Put it in your own words. Avoid bold words and jargon. Keep letter to one page. Send enclosures, if you think more info is needed.

49 Letters (continued) Relevant editorials and news stories from local papers will get his or her attention. Cover only one issue per letter. Identify the legislation clearly, with the bill number if you know it. Ask the legislator to reply, and ask very directly (while still being courteous) whether he or she will support your position.

50 Letters (continued) Don’t overstate your influence. Just give the facts. Send letters only to your legislator, unless you are president of a group with members from other legislative districts. If you are part of a coalition, consider sending a sign-on letter and send to all members of the legislative body addressing the issue. Have each coalition member send a “Dear Legislator” support letter to the coalition leader, who will in turn send all letters in one packet to the legislative body. Thank the legislator, and sign over your typed or printed name.

51 Letters: Proper Forms of Address President of the United States The President The White House Washington, DC 20500 Salutation: Dear Mr. President: Complimentary close: Sincerely yours,

52 Letters: Proper Forms of Address United States Senator The Honorable ________ United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Salutation: Dear Senator _________: Complimentary close: Sincerely yours,

53 Letters: Proper Forms of Address United States Representative The Honorable __________ United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Salutation: Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. _____: Complimentary close: Sincerely yours,

54 Letters: Proper Forms of Address Chair of a House Committee The Honorable ____________ United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Salutation: Dear Mr. Chairman or Madam Chairwoman: Complimentary close: Sincerely yours,

55 Letters: Proper Forms of Address Speaker of the House The Honorable ____________ United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Salutation: Dear Mr. Speaker or Madam Speaker: Complimentary close: Sincerely yours,

56 Letters: Proper Forms of Address Governor of the State of Florida The Honorable _____________ Office of the Governor The Capitol Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0001 Salutation: Dear Governor _____: Complimentary close: Sincerely yours,

57 Letters: Proper Forms of Address Florida State Senator Senator __________ The Capitol Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100 Salutation: Dear Senator __________: Complimentary close: Sincerely yours,

58 Letters: Proper Forms of Address Florida State Representative The Honorable __________ Florida House of Representatives The Capitol Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300 Salutation: Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. __________: Complimentary close: Sincerely yours,

59 Telephone Calls You can reach the office of any member of Congress by dialing… You can reach the Administration, call the White House comment line… 1 (202) 224-3121 1 (202) 456-7639

60 Tips for Calling 1.Use the telephone for less complicated subjects 2.Be prepared to talk to professional staff 3.Before calling, prepare a brief outline of what you want to say

61 Reminder: Tips for Writing 1.Identify yourself as a constituent 2.Identify the issue (and the bill number) 3.Personalize your letter 4.Make it short and to the point 5.Support your position with local examples 6.Ask for support or action 7.Say “Thank You”

62 Reminder: Tips for Meetings 1.Preparation Make an appointment Be brief and to the point Be flexible Learn about the legislator Know the pros and cons of the issue Prepare a one-page brief on the topic Designate a spokesperson in a group

63 Reminder: Tips for Meetings 2.The Actual Meeting Be punctual and patient Keep your message simple and brief Avoid using technical jargon Be prepared to answer questions Ask the lawmaker for his/her position Thank for his/her time Write thank you letter

64 No Timing Like the Present Know Before You Go Follow Your Knows The Congressional Staycation A Staff Affection What a Face Timing is everything!

65 How to work the legislative process… Get to know your legislators and their staff Use the committee process Do your homework Build a coalition Know the opposition Be prepared to negotiate Communicate, communicate, communicate!

66 Focusing Questions What is your position on the legislation and the rationale behind it? Who are the targets for your message? Who are the influentials? What is your message for each of your target audiences? Who will carry or convey that message? Who will be your champion? Who are your opponents and what are their messages? How will you counter their efforts?

67 Fill-in-the-facts Name of my organization My organization’s mission is (1 sentence) My organization’s services are (2 sentences) We serve # of persons from the ___ congressional or state district. We urge Rep. ____ or Senator ___ to: This legislation is important to us because: 1.Reason #1 2.Reason #2 3.Reason #3 We hope that you will support our goal to: For more information about or organization contact:

68 Contact Information: Jon W. Martz Vice President, Government Relations VPSI Inc. 1220 Rankin Drive Troy, Michigan Tel: (248) 597-3500

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