Transcript Slide 1

Making Your Case
How To Effectively Educate Legislators
And Policymakers
Before We Begin …
•Vote – whatever you, whoever you
vote for. Get registered, get your
friends and family registered, get out
and vote.
•One of two most effective ways to get
attention of policy makers
“The world is run by those who
show up.” – Anonymous
•These folks we’re talking about work
for you – it’s called democracy.
•That having been said, you need to
know the process and how to
effectively work within it.
Making Your Case
• Why
• Partners in Policymaking Minnesota
Governor’s Council on Developmental
• Vitally important to do this – look at
the current situation
You can make a difference.
•Aide to member of Congress – if they
hear from 5 – 10 people about a
particular issue or piece of legislation,
that’s a lot. On most issues/legislation,
they hear nothing from constituents.
Honesty - page 3
•Get it out of your head that you
can do anything else, even a little.
Keep your eye on the ball.
The Rules - page 5
•Remember that civics class in high
school? This is the real life, high
stakes version.
•It’s very important to understand the
rules of each body you’re approaching.
Find someone, usually another
advocate, to give you a run down. You
can pick up a lot quickly. This is the
ocean the policy makers and staff swim
in – you have to get to know it.
The Rules - page 5
•The Network
•Manners / be polite
•Keep in mind – you’re trying to get
them to do something for you. Act
accordingly, no matter how
passionately you may feel. If you can’t
do this, find someone else to take the
point and wait until you’re ready. If you
don’t, you can kill your cause.
Legislative Visits - page 7
•Schedule in advance – be aware of the calendar.
Take what you can get.
•Staff – key to the process
•Research – know your stuff cold
•Offer to be a resource for the policy maker and
their staff
•Gifts – don’t. Probably can’t take it.
•One pagers.
•Close the deal – ask for their support
•If there’s time, take a photo. Nice way to end.
•Thank yous
Legislative Visits - page 7
•Hone your message so that you
can deliver it in 30 seconds in a
hallway walking to an elevator, if
you have to – because you will
probably have to at some point.
Committee Testimony - page 13
•Sign in
•Formality in presentation – know the drill – “Mr.
Chairman, members of the committee . .”
•Not listening / transcribing – don’t worry about it.
Get your comments on the record.
•Kids are great – Governors pay attention
•Make issues real – don’t let people be turned into
•Answering questions
•Written testimony
•Don’t push it – “waive in support” can sometimes
help more than 10 minutes of testimony
Letters - page 17
•Personal, personal, personal
•Never form letters
•Always note bill / statute citation
•Give the policy maker something
he/she can use – seen them waved on
the floor.
•Emails are easy – too easy. Faxes
are better.
Letters – page 18
•Everything can and should be
organized or formatted in this style
Phone calls – page 19
•Vital when used properly.
•Timing is crucial.
•Be aware of the infrastructure.
You can have a great impact when
you act at the right time.
Day at the Capitol - page 21
•Meet as group prior to seeing legislators
to get run down
•Appointments in advance
•Prepare applicable materials
•Staff / aides
•Have a business card and leave it
•Thank you
•Debrief as group at end of day –
schedule it and commit to it. Very
STAFF - page 25
•They Do ALL the work
•Friend or foe – act accordingly
•Help them help their boss
•Florida House – 1 aide, who also acts
as assistant, etc., during session
•Florida Senate – 2 aides. Maybe
assistant if they’re chair of a
Policymakers - page 28
•President, Governor, Mayor
•Department Secretary
•Council members
•Agency Directors
•On and on down the line
In the District - page 31
•Meetings more informal
•More time with the official
•Same format as page 18
•Don’t forget District staff
•When you go to
Tallahassee/Washington, you won’t be
just another face
•Congressman’s cell phone numbers –
meeting lasted maybe 5 minutes
Technology - page 35
•Why not to use it
•When you have to use it
•Get to the right person
•Lots of information available for
free on the Legislature’s web site
– bills, amendments, committee
packets, videos of committee
meetings, etc. Know your way
around this.
VOTE - page 38
•Don’t complain about the problem unless
you are a part of a solution
•Just do it
Thank you !
Rich La Belle
Executive Director
Family Network on Disabilities
2196 Main St, Suite K, Dunedin, FL 34698
[email protected]
727 523 1130
800 825 5736