Presentation on theme: "How You Can Have An Impact By Amy Granberry, BS, PHR Dir. Of Organizational Development Charlie’s Place."— Presentation transcript:
How You Can Have An Impact By Amy Granberry, BS, PHR Dir. Of Organizational Development Charlie’s Place
To give you the necessary tools for successful advocacy Definition of Advocacy: ◦ Webster defines an advocate as one who pleads the cause of another, or one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal. Definition of Lobbying ◦ to conduct activities aimed at influencing public officials and especially members of a legislative body on legislation
An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation. Organizations may, however, involve themselves in issues of public policy without the activity being considered as lobbying. For example, organizations may conduct educational meetings, prepare and distribute educational materials, or otherwise consider public policy issues in an educational manner without jeopardizing their tax- exempt status.
Understand the legislative process. Realize that most legislators do not know our people or our issues. Develop a powerful personal story. Present your personal story at meaningful times to educate and influence your own legislators. Know how to win--and lose--with grace. Know how to be generous in your thanks and praise.
Less than 60% of eligible voters ever register to vote. Less than 50% of registered voters vote in most elections. Less than 30% of a candidate’s supporters stay involved in framing legislation after the election. Less than 20% of active voters ever actively participate in election campaigns. Less than 10% of the electorate ever contact their legislator to support or oppose pending legislation.
Each legislature has two chambers (houses)-- the Senate and the House of Representatives Legislation must pass both houses in exactly the same form to be adopted. The Senate and the House use a committee process to screen proposed legislation. Each advocate has two legislators representing their local area--a senator and a representative.
Step 1: Sponsor introduces bill in the House of Representatives. (1 st reading) Step 2: Presiding officer refers bill to committee. Step 3: Advocates work with committee to bring their issues to their attention. Step 4: Committee chair schedules hearing. Step 5: Committee conducts hearing and gives report, if favorable with or without amendments. Step 6: Advocates work to inform House members of the issues. Step 7: Bill is scheduled for vote before the House of Representatives. (2 nd reading) Step 8: Advocates/sponsors may prepare amendments, if needed to overcome objections. Step 9: Bill debated, possibly amended, and adopted on second reading. Step 10: Advocates/sponsors work with House members who voted against the bill.
Step 11: Bill is scheduled for final House vote. (3 rd reading) Step 12: Bill debated, possibly amended, and adopted on 3 rd reading. Step 13: Bill is transferred to the Senate for consideration. Step 14: All previous steps are repeated for Senate consideration. Step 15: Senate adopts bill on 3 rd reading (same as House version). Or Senate adopts bill with amendment that makes it different from the House version. Step 16: House/Senate presiding officers appoint conference committee. Step 17: Conference committee meets to work out differences in two versions. Committee issues conference report. Step 18: House adopts conference report. Senate adopts conference report. Step 19: Governor signs bill into law.
Do treat your legislator/elected official as a friend and an intelligent citizen. Do know your facts and leave behind a one-page summary of your position. Be sure to include your name address and telephone number. Do be honest, accurate, direct, positive, and brief. Do show your legislator how your position will help him/her and the district. Do establish an on-going relationship and reputation for reliability.
Don’t be argumentative or abrasive. Don’t cover more than one subject in one contact. Don’t threaten a legislator with votes or in any other way. Don’t hesitate to admit you do not know all the facts, but indicate you will find out.
Effective advocacy is all about relationship Relationships take time to build You get back what you are willing to put into the relationship 2 way street—what can you do for them ◦ Make yourself available ◦ Become the expert- “go to” person Start small Remember they are regular people-just like you Research the elected official—what are they passionate about Get to know them on a personal level
E-mail Text Social media Telephone calls to legislative offices, committee staff Personal testimony in public hearings Letter writing
When this is the person’s preferred way of receiving information. Be sure you get the correct email address—many utilize multiple addresses When you must get information to the policy maker quickly. (Remember to check with his/her office to see if they pick up their e-mail messages and how often. If they aren’t picked up in a timely manner, it’s best to do something else.) After developing a strong relationship-text messaging is sometimes the best way to reach quickly.
Twitter Facebook Follow all candidates, elected officials Great way to get news quickly and stay current on what is important to them
When you are not under time constraints. When you want to educate the policy maker. When you are presenting complex material. Use a letter to thank a legislator for supporting your issue. Use a letter as a follow-up to a visit with the legislator.
When time is of the essence. When you want to say “Thank you” to a legislator or aide.
The legislator is in their district office and they have time to see you. When you are at the Capitol and a visit can be arranged. When you would like to take the legislator on a tour of a program you are involved with. When you want to give your issue a face and a name.
Notify the committee clerk or person responsible for the meeting a few days ahead of time if you are going to need accommodations for a disability. Sign in and fill out a testimony card. Be aware that the testimony is likely to be taped and viewed. Speak into the mike! Find out how long you will be allowed to speak. Stay focused. Bring written copies of your testimony. (how many committee members-plus extras) Bring snacks, a friend, and patience
What is it you want your legislator to do? How do you want them to do it? How does this issue relate to you? How is it important to others? Why it’s important to them/their constituents
Greeting and thanks Your name and where you live The issue you will discuss Description of your agency Description of the services or supports your agency currently provides, or sees as missing in the system. What you want the agency or legislator to do A possible solution-new request this year* Thank them for listening
City Council/Mayor District attorney Sheriff Chief of Police County Commissioners/County Judges State Representatives State Senators Department heads of major funding agencies Council members/commissioners of state agencies US Congressman US Senators
City projects-CDBG, damage to property, first responder issues Budget cuts—what did we do Substance Abuse bills in the 82 nd Legislature Public hearings/testimony
Questions and Answers Contact Info Amy Rhoads Granberry, BS, PHR Charlie’s Place 361-826-5364 firstname.lastname@example.org