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Additional Resources

Michigan Position Concurrence

The Lake Michigan LWV has requested that each of the eight Great Lakes state Leagues concur with the Michigan LWV Great Lakes Ecosystem position.

The Illinois League has drafted a Resolution for the consideration of the Illinois local Leagues. Other Leagues may wish to modify the Illinois draft for their own use.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Lobbying

Illinois LMLWV Board members attended the 2011 LWV of Illinois Issues meeting, where a session on how to lobby was held.  Here are some of the best pointers:

Keep in mind, legislators can’t live without us!  They need us to educate them!  They get thousands of bills a year, and they are only human, and cannot possibly be that well-informed.  You probably know a lot more about your subject than they do.  Please contact us for background information to lobby on Lake Michigan issues.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Your best lobbying is often done when your legislator is “home.” In session, most legislators are supposed to be in at least 3 different places at the same time.  If you meet with them at home, they’ll be less distracted and more open to learning.

Do: Build on what you have in common with them.  Families, fishing, schools, whatever.  One part of a bill that you have in common, even if nothing else.

Do: If you give them print-outs, make sure they are short, as in, one page, max.  Include documentation and references, so they can look things up if needed.

Be an advocate for your issue!  Show them, convince them, that your bill, your idea, will solve a problem.  They need to see the usefulness and reasonableness of your position.

Do: When you contact them, phone or use e-mail/electronic media, if a vote is imminent.

Do: If you consistently can’t get in to see them, find another legislator who knows them, and see if he/she can get you in!

Always:  Know the bill’s number and cosponsors.  Let them know what you’ve done already to help get the bill passed.

Never:  Never threaten not to vote for them again – it won’t really work.  And, if you get angry, or give up on them, you’ve lost.

Don’t: use form letters. But do realize that if you send a snail mail letter to your Senator or Representative in D.C., it will take about a week to arrive, due to security checks.  So again, on imminent bills, e-mail or phone them please!

And…DO think about going to GREAT LAKES LOBBY DAYS in Washington, D.C. in March, 2012!

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