Photo at twitter.com/85thLegislature
Many of us are rediscovering the importance of civic engagement. Increasingly we are becoming active participants in our democracy to speak out against hate and injustice. From phone calls to elected officials and marches in solidarity to social media actions and organized protests, we are finding our voices and making them heard.
Direct action is a powerful part of an effective #Resistance playbook. Now that the 85th Texas Legislature is in session, it is time to add a page for Lobby Days. Hundreds of groups have scheduled Lobby Days during this session. A strong showing of grassroots support for organizations that are protecting progressive policies, supporting women’s rights and promoting social justice has never been more important.
Plan to attend at least one Lobby Day during this legislative session to let your representatives know you stand for progress. These tips from Lori Kleinfeld, WOW Dems Fundraising Committee co-chair and veteran Lobby Day-goer, will help you prepare. Read “Planning a Successful Lobby Day” for more information.
Before You Go:
- Arrange meetings ahead of time with your legislators. Usually sponsoring groups, such as Planned Parenthood, will do this for you.
- Familiarize yourself with the issues affecting the sponsoring group and how your representative is likely to vote.
- Know the name and number of the Bill for which you are lobbying. You are there to persuade your representative to vote favorably for your cause.
- Prepare for the day. Jot down a few key points you want to make about each issue you are there to discuss.
While You’re There:
- Bring a positive, friendly attitude and be respectful.
- Dress in business casual (no jeans) but wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking a lot!
- Capitol security will inspect your purses, backpacks, and other personal items, so be prepared.
- Expect to meet with either your representative or legislative aide. Don’t be disappointed if you meet with the legislative aide. They often have more time to listen to you—they may even agree with you. Hopefully they can persuade your representative.
- Bring written information to leave with the office. Leave-behinds should include relevant and persuasive facts and figures, and may be provided by the organization sponsoring the Lobby Day. Be sure to include your name, contact information and a WOW Dems brochure or card.
- Food is available in the Capitol cafeteria, but you may want to pack your own. Groups including the organizers of Blue Ribbon Lobby Day, may provide a box lunch.
- Often there will be great speakers at the steps of the Capitol, so be sure to listen.
- Spread the word! Take pictures and post updates on social media. Remember to tag the group that organized the day.
Most importantly have fun and remember that you are doing your civic duty!