Guidelines for Effective Lobbying
It is customary practice for Representatives to meet with their constituents,
whether in their home district or capitol office. Most legislators will
accommodate a request for a meeting from constituents and actually welcome the
opportunity to learn more about local concerns.
1. Make an Appointment
Call or write your Representative and request an appointment for a
small group (3-5) to meet with him/her in either the district or capitol
Include in your group individuals who can speak authoritatively from
various backgrounds, such as a health care professional, crisis
pregnancy counselor, Project Rachel representative, influential member
of the community, a friend of the Representative.
2. Prepare for the Meeting
Educate yourself and the group on both the issue/legislation and the
Representative. Provide each member of your delegation with the
Representative's voting record on the issue
Copy of the bill
Explanatory literature on the bill and current status
Fact sheet (with references) and supporting arguments
(This information can be obtained from your Diocesan Respect Life
Coordinator or from the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment.)
The more informed you and your group are the more credible you will
appear. Find out beforehand the Representative's concerns/problems with
the bill in order to effectively address them during the meeting.
3. Prepare an Information Packet for the Representative
Include the bill and any additional literature which supports
your position, such as factual arguments, a list of organizations
in the community which support your cause, positive editorials or
articles, and pertinent anecdotal stories.
4. The Meeting
3 Begin on a positive note by commenting favorably on something your
Representative has done recently.
Let your Representative know why you requested the meeting.
Provide three to four persuasive arguments in your favor.
Give your Representative an opportunity to respond to all your points.
LISTEN well to what your Representative says in order to later address
his/her concerns with counter arguments.
Summarize briefly what is in the information packet you have prepared.
Ask your Representative if you have his/her support.
If the reply is favorable, thank the Representative and let him/her know
you will inform the people in the district about this.
If the reply is not favorable, ask the Representative what you, and the
many people you are representing, can do to gain his/her support.
Thank the Representative.
5. Follow Up After Meeting
Send a letter thanking your Representative for taking the time to
meet with you and your group. If he/she gave you his/her support,
acknowledge this in the letter.
If your Representative expressed uncertainty, provide additional
information which specifically addresses his/her concerns. Again, ask
Meeting face to face with your Representative can be an enlightening
and enjoyable experience. Regardless of the position he/she holds on an
issue, the atmosphere should always remain congenial. You want to keep
the doors of communication open for as long as the Representative holds
Tips on Visiting Your Legislator
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