November-December 1989 Home   Newsletters

January 1990

February 1990

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Special Acknowledgement (Martha Black)
Planning and Zoning (Astrid Monson)
People's Water Conference (Martha Black)
Census '90
Proposed Bylaws Changes
League's Wish List
City Council Review Committee
League of Women Voters Presents
Vote Counts
City Funding
Special Thanks
State League Plans Fall Conference
Ten Commandments of Citizen Lobbying

The Ten Commandments of Citizen Lobbying

  1. Know your facts. Express them accurately and positively. Facts and figures matter, so do sources * Never misrepresent your opponent's view " * Long-term credibility is more valuable than short-term gain.

  2. Know your opposition. Identify your opposition early. * Analyzing and neutralizing your opponent's position is as important as your own case. * Prepare rebuttals carefully.

  3. Correct errors Immediately. When many individuals participate in a lobbying campaign, errors can occur. Anticipate them. * Carefully follow policies regarding Individuals authorized to speak for the group.

  4. Plan, coordinate and follow up each lobbying contact. Carefully plan your approach. * Know the role s/he is about to play In the outcome of your Issue before you make contact." Keep careful notes about meetings and follow up with a brief summary letter to the official. * Develop networks of friends In the legislature, including staff and other lobbyists, and keep them informed of your activities x * Thank those who helped you.

  5. Avoid being a zealot. No one Is impressed by fanatics. * Credibility is enhanced by a reasoned approach supported by your commitment to the Issue.

  6. Cultivate your allies. Make sure they do their part. Work In coalition with groups that share your concerns on a particular issue, even though they may differ on another issue. * Articulate and agree upon mutual goals, strategies and tactics * Unlikely allies are the surprise Ingredient in many successful lobbying efforts.

  7. Know the legislative process. Good intentions are no substitute for knowing how a bill becomes a law. * Know the key players, the role of leadership, the folkways, customs and timing of the legislative body. * Cultivate and revere those who have developed such expertise In your group. Consult with them often.

  8. [Be frugal with your money. Be very judicious about how you spend your funds.]

  9. Grow thick skin. Taking a position can often evoke criticism. Don't take It personally. * Although lobbying is serious, don't take yourself too seriously. *Above all, maintain a sense of humor. Lobbying can be fun.

  10. WIN. Dedicate yourself to winning. Dream of it, plan for it. * Believe In yourself, your group, your issue. This is what gives you power as a citizen lobbyist. * Share the credit with everyone who helped. * Be gracious to your opponents. They may be your allies on another Issue

    (from the Fall '89 issue of the American Association of University Women's PREVIEW magazine)

    [The Citizen's Guide to Lobbying Congress (paperback) by Donald E. De Kieffer]

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