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Citizen Lobbying

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There are over 30,000 lobbyists working in Washington, DC right now. Corporations are spending millions to block open-access public healthcare option, cap and trade legislation and a host of other progressive priorities this year.

They are organized and well funded -- the only thing that stands in their way is you.

This month DFA Night School and Gov. Howard Dean M.D. are teaming up to teach you how to beat them at their own game:

Learn more at: www.democracyforamerica.com/citizenlobbying

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Citizen Lobbying

  1. 1. Citizen Lobbying May 26th, 2009 Questions? nightschool@democracyforamerica.com AIM: DFA Night School Paid for by Democracy for America, www.democracyforamerica.com, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
  2. 2. Welcome to DFA Night School! Available on ITunes Click icon to subscribe: Got Questions? Email: nightschool@democracyforamerica.com DFA Chair Jim Dean AIM Instant Message: DFA Night School Questions? 2 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  3. 3. Tonight’s Trainers Bridget Dooley AFSCME Organizer DFA Trainer Chicago, IL Matt Blizek DFA Training Director Gov. Howard Dean, M.D. Questions? 3 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  4. 4. What is Lobbying? Over 30,000 paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Paid lobbying vs. Citizen lobbying Legislators need educating – they don’t know everything! Lobbying works! vs. Questions? 4 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  5. 5. Preparation & Planning Effective lobbying is a continuous campaign of planned and coordinated actions Make allies and build coalitions Get to know your target – What can you expect to get? Anticipate your opposition Draft a Citizen Lobbying Campaign (See attached sample plan) Goal - What do you want to achieve? Target - Who can give you what you want? Tactics - How can we influence that person? Research - Any upcoming votes or deadlines? Any stance on past or similar legislation? Got Questions? 5 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  6. 6. Setting Up a Meeting Make an “official” written request Sample meeting request letter Quick Research Sources: Ask to meet with your Representative www.house.gov or other relevant staffer www.senate.gov www.congress.org Where to meet: Capital office In-district office Demonstrate a broad base of support Petitions, letters, etc Questions? 6 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  7. 7. Constituency Meeting Prep 3-5 people is ideal • Be diverse & represent all constituencies Be respectful • Be there on time (be early!) • Look presentable Practice & Role Plays! Lobbying Team Roles Facilitator - runs the meeting & makes the ask Storytellers – 1-2 people to tell a compelling story Asker - makes a direct ask (may also be Facilitator) Educator – presents fact sheets, information Secretary - writes it all down, plans for follow up Questions? 7 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  8. 8. Constituent Meeting Agenda 1. Introductions - (5 min) - Names and addresses of everyone 2. Review the agenda (5 min) 3. Why we’re here - (10 min) - Present petitions, etc - Present facts, history, etc 4. Story time - (10 min) 5. The Ask! - (5 min) 6. Ask for questions - (5 min) 7. Wrap up - (5 min) Questions? 8 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  9. 9. Making the Ask Tips for making the Ask • Direct straight forward ask • Make them answer • Embrace the awkward silence Follow up Questions: Who else can you bring on board? What is the opposition looking like? What will it take for you to support this? What is holding you back? Questions? 9 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  10. 10. Questions? Email: nightschool@democracyforamerica.com Instant Message: DFA Night School 10
  11. 11. Following up If non-committal, make specific plans to get your answer Thank the legislator in person for their time Send a written thank you note to their office Build support & research before next meeting Questions? 11 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  12. 12. Turning up the pressure Direct pressure tactics: Letters, petitions, calls, Meetings, in-capital lobby days Indirect pressure tactics: Letters to editor, op-eds, paid media, press conferences, visibility, protests, pickets, literature drops, Coalition building Remember: Honey attracts more flies than vinegar. Questions? 12 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  13. 13. Stand with Dr. Dean What are they thinking? Healthcare reform - where are we? What’s next for DFA on healthcare? Questions? 13 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  14. 14. Questions? Email: nightschool@democracyforamerica.com Instant Message: DFA Night School 14
  15. 15. Homework • Find out where your elected official stands on a public health care option at www.standwithdrdean.com • Write out a lobbying plan using the attached template • Contact your Congressional delegation and schedule your first meeting 15
  16. 16. 2009 Schedule Click on location to RSVP! May 30-31 Beaumont, CA July 25-26 Phoenix, AZ June 5-6 Charlotte, NC Aug 1-2 Chicago, IL June 5-6 Newark, NJ Sept 12-13 Jacksonville, FL June 13-14 Shreveport, LA Sept 19-20 Lincoln, NE June 27-28 Redding, CA Sept 26-27 Gettysburg, PA July 11-12 Wichita, KS Oct 3-4 Columbia, MO July 18-19 Birmingham, AL More 2009 trainings to be announced soon… Questions? 16 nightschool@democracyforamerica.com
  17. 17. Thank you for listening! Need to catch up on earlier Night School presentations? Click below to order previous Night School episodes on DVD: Become a monthly Night School donor 17