Citizen Lobbying

Individual citizens can have a significant impact in creating the political will for change. You do not have to be a professional lobbyist, you simply need to be passionate on your issue and prepared to be heard in a constructive way. Here are some ways to prepare:

  1. Sign up for e-notifications of which bills most need your attention. (See Link).
  2. Identify your legislators, using this tool: https://cdcbp.ky.gov/VICWeb/index.jsp.
  3. Invite friends to come along, since there’s strength in numbers. To lobby a legislator not your own, such as a member of a key committee, strive to recruit friends who live in the legislator’s district to join you. Role-play, if you want to build your confidence.
  4. Schedule an appointment, by phone (1-502-564-8100) or e-mail (for addresses, seehttp://www.lrc.ky.gov/whoswho/email.htm).
  5. Manage your time and info: Realize that the official you will visit is very busy and may not have had time to understand fully the legislation that concerns you. You don’t need to be an expert, but should prepare this basic information: • The bill number (and name, if it has one). • A bit about the official’s district, if not your own, and committee assignments. • Succinct reasons why the outcome of the legislation matters to you, if not your community and/or your organization, too.
  6. Look for compelling win-win responses to common counter-arguments, such as from false “jobs or the environment” thinking.
  7. Prepare for the day: Pack your notebook, pen and water bottle. Plan enough time to get through security. If you usually carry a penknife, leave it behind.
  8. Dress for Success: Consider wearing a suit or perhaps clothing that reflects your line of work

 

Other Tips when contacting legislators:

  • Writing a personal letter to the local district office is better than writing a letter to the offices in Frankfort. Recognize that staffers see your letters and emails, same as phone calls.
  • Similarly, the most effective contact is to actually call your legislator at their local office. Calls to Frankfort are ok, but staff there often work for several different legislators.
  • Tweeting or posting on your legislator’s Facebook or Twitter is largely ineffective.
  • Consider showing up at Town Hall meetings or similar gatherings. Bring a large group armed with your questions.
  • If you have your own events, invite legislative staffers as guests.
  • Invite staffers on “field trips” to places that represent the issues you care about.

Contact KCC for additional assitance and advice on how to work with your legislator. Contact us at 502-209-9659 or by email, and we will be glad to assist you.

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