Train Grass Roots Advocates For A Long Haul

Grass Roots Training Get The  Book Personal Political Power In California

Rep. Kingston worried about the constant battering from constituents which argues for more focused messaging as explained in the book.

A most frequent cause of failure in a grass roots effort is that volunteer advocates wear out and lose hope. It’s important to raise awareness that any major effort will likely take years of incremental steps.

Waxman exemplifies the need to stay the course for years and idea you need to build into grass roots advocacy training

Rep. Waxman exemplifies the need to stay the course for years an idea associations need to build into grass roots advocacy training

From New York Times: U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman proved both a highly skilled legislator and an expert in oversight of government laws and programs during his 40 years in the House. He was an example of traits valuable to legislators (and grass roots advocates): tenacity and perseverance.

It was eight years from his first hearing on a mysterious disease affecting gay men until the signing in 1990 of legislation to combat AIDS. His fight for legislation to beef up the Clean Air Act, which he called “the most successful environmental law we have on the books,” took even longer, nearly a decade.

I’m not quite sure what to make of this from U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia: If lawmakers are to break out of the partisan cycle, they need to avoid being inundated by their constituents in an increasingly digital world where members of Congress find themselves under immediate pressure as events unfold.

“If new members allow their base to control their behavior up here they are going to be miserable,” said Mr. Kingston, who has seen the rising influence of Tea Party activists on Republican lawmakers. “While the voters might be yelling and screaming at you to do something, that’s not your job.”

Complete article at York Times

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Got Grass Roots?

How many grassroots key contact advocates are pictured and profiled on your web site?

How many grass roots key contact advocates have their picture, profile, testimonial and success story on your site? Give reward and recognition to the behavior you want to see more of.

If you want to increase the effectiveness of your grass roots program using the Internet, take a look at your web presence and ask these questions:

    • How many grass roots advocates do you see? That is, their pictures, profiles and success stories or testimonials?
    • Does the content have personality and an engaging voice or does it read like a legal brief?
    • What are you doing to create community among your political junkies who enjoy advocating your cause?
    • How often are you posting articles about grass roots contact with elected officials?

My suggestion is that once a month you feature a grass roots advocate and success story with pictures… it’s reward and recognition and educating all at once.

Just as peer-to-peer is the best way to raise PAC money, peer-to-peer testimonial encourages grass roots contact with elected officials.

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CA Lobbying Manual Available

grass roots grassroots lobbying manual influence association lobby day

How to lobby California legislature and get results

The book is out and available. Personal Political Power In California – How to take action and make a difference…

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 

Or Amazon

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Leverage Your Lobby Day In The Months To Come

Lobby Days are expensive in time and resources, so you’re wise to think about leveraging your return on investment far beyond the day itself.

Train grass roots advocatesd and key contacts to make regular positive communication with elected officials at least quarterly

Training grassroots advocates at lobby day benefits from a focus on building relationships with elected officials in the weeks and months AFTER lobby day.

A question I like to ask is, What are you doing to increase the effect of your lobby day after your grass roots key contacts have gone home?

That leads me to explore these ideas:
What goals and objectives will you implant in the minds of your advocates?
What will you do during Lobby Day to inspire your advocates to keep working back home?
How will you assess Lobby Day and improve the next one?
How will you measure success?
What groundwork have you laid for future action?
What specific assignments and timetable do your advocates have for lobbying and building relationships?

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Make your lobby day more effective

Call The Grass Roots Guy 916 277 4884 for help making your lobby day more effective

What are you doing to make your lobby day pay off in the months to come… to help your advocates be more effective back home?

These questions will help make your lobby day more effective. Each flows from my work at lobby days and seeing things that didn’t work so well…

  • If you have a panel discussion, how many people should be on it so each one has time to provide meaningful information? Who will manage the panel so your audience, your advocates, get what they need and advance your goals?
  • How will you create an experience that builds enthusiasm and confidence among your advocates in the months to come?
  • Have you planned a debriefing session that builds enthusiasm and sets future goals?
  • How are you collecting reports from meetings with politicians?
  • What information – video, photos, stories, tips – will you collect that you can use in the months to come?
  • If you have a speaker such as a politician, will you give direction so your needs are served or will you let them give their canned, predictable speech? What is the purpose of their speech?
  • Will you spotlight some of your most successful advocates and use their testimony to inspire others?
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Story shows humanity of lobbyists

SacBee story illustrates humanity of lobbyists

SacBee story illustrates humanity of lobbyists

“I can’t tell my mother I’m a lobbyist; She thinks I’m a piano player in a whorehouse…”

That apocryphal saying reflects the often unsavory – and completely unfair and untrue – portrayal of lobbyists.

This story by Laurel Rosenhall in SacBee humanizes and puts into perspective the lobbyist in a way seldom seen.

Laurel Rosenhall

Laurel Rosenhall

http://www.sacbee.com/news/investigations/lobbying-influence/article8210313.html

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Legislative Reception: Train Grass Roots Advocates To Work The Room

Association lobbyists need to emphasize that lobby day receptions have a serious purpose and grass roots advocates need to focus on elected officials instead of socializing with each other

I had a long talk with these four state senators because the grass roots advocates were all at the bar… no one told them to seek out the politicians at their lobby day reception

Wandering around a lobby day reception for legislators – the day before I was to speak to the grass roots advocates – I came across this table where sat four state senators… just the four senators.
I looked over at the bar where all the association members were and wondered… why is no one here talking to these senators?
Of course… nobody had told them to. No one had said “This is not a drinking party.

“This is a business gathering with a business purpose. This is a chance for you association key contacts and volunteer advocates to start and strengthen relationships with the elected officials who will determine the fate of our legislation.”

So the grass roots advocates ignored the politicians.

I advise associations to use colored name tags, one for senators, one for assembly/house members, one for staff, one for the association people… that way if senators have red name tags and you see four of them sitting at one table you can get some grass roots advocates, preferably their constituents, over to the table.

Then it’s critical to make the point that elected officials are the top priority at a legislative reception.

Advocates also need to hear that making staff feel at home and getting to know staff pays off big dividends. I tell the grass roots volunteers to look at the edge of the room for people standing alone… these will often be staff who just stopped by for a drink and a bite to eat… who will appreciate attention and a welcome.

In other words, teach your grass roots key contact advocates to work the room…

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