Monday, July 06, 2015
Agriculture + Advocacy = Agvocacy!
Agvocacy is placing on the political or public agenda a problem that impacts the farming community, providing a common-sense solution to that problem, and building support for acting on both the problem and solution. Need help to determine if and how agvocacy can help your concerns? Start by checking out this agvocacy checklist.
Is my elected official the best place to start?
I have figured out that I want:
Casework: I need help with a particular government program (social security, or the IRS, for example)
Policy Representation: I want my representative or senator to take a position on a certain state or federal issue
Think about the following questions:
Who are my representatives and senators?
What is their legislative record and general philosophy?
What issues are they passionate about?
What committees are my representatives or senators on?
Is my representative or senator newly elected, or more senior?
What party does my representative or senator belong to?
Tell a compelling story -- you have something of value to contribute!
Know your facts
Make your message your own
General Message Delivery
These tips apply to all communications -- letters, phone calls, and meetings.
Decide which method of communication suits you and your purpose
Develop a thoughtful, well-argued message
Ask your member to take a specific action
Ask your member to respond to the request
Make your priorities clear
Tell your legislator's office how you can be an ongoing resource
Make your message targeted and forceful without being rude or threatening
Tell the truth
Be reasonable about opposing points of view
Be prepared to answer questions about opposing arguments
Determine whether a meeting is needed to deliver the message
Decide where you want to meet, after looking at the legislative calendar
Decide who you want to deliver your message (preferably someone from the district)
Limit the number of people you bring to the meeting
If you're in DC for a national meeting, try to coordinate with others from your state
Fax the scheduler a meeting request, including a list of issues and attendees
Follow-up with a phone call to the scheduler after sending a written request
Schedule carefully to assure you will be on time, but not too early, for each meeting
On voting days, try to schedule meetings with members before 11:00 A.M.
Be prepared to meet anywhere - standing up in the hallway or on the run to a vote
Be prepared to deliver your message in five minutes
Make sure you have short, concise and consistent information to leave behind
Leave your information in a file folder with your organization's name on the label
Effective Written Communications
Make your communication stand out by making it personal, thoughtful and accurate
Ask for a response
Confine each written communication to one topic
Double check office numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses
Effective Phone Calls
If you want someone to think about what you're saying, ask for a response
Have the basic facts about the issue on hand
Send a thank you note to the staff and your legislator soon after a meeting
Wait at least three weeks for a response before checking back
Report on your meeting in a non-threatening way
For More Info Contact:
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