Winning the Internet

Introduction to Legislative Advocacy: How to Effectively Lobby Your Elected Leaders

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

Nicole RiveraAs we gear up for Netroots Nation 2013, we’re taking a closer look at some of the convention’s hottest training sessions. We’re interviewing the trainers and taking you inside some of online activism’s most popular and elusive topics.

Today we’re interviewing Nicole Rivera, who’ll be leading Introduction to Legislative Advocacy: How to Effectively Lobby Your Elected Leaders.

NN13 Training Session

Introduction to Legislative Advocacy: How to Effectively Lobby Your Elected Leaders
Learn tips for effective advocacy from the perspective of a past elected official staff member and successful grassroots organizers. The focus of this training session will be on Congressional and State elected official offices. Organizers will  teach tips about meeting with staff members at the local District office and staff members working on Capitol Hill. Participants will learn how to effectively advocate their position and how to build a successful symbiotic relationship with any elected official.

Interview

Q: Tell us about your experience with legislative advocacy.

A: I’ve been on both sides of the table as an activist, a lobbyist and as a representative for an elected officer. I spent five years in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and worked with constituents on key issues such as housing, labor, education and veterans. I’ve taken hundred’s of meetings and I have seen both the best and the worst preparation.

Q: In your opinion, what are some of the most common mistakes that organizers make when lobbying elected leaders?

A: Lack of preparation, not being clear about what you are asking for or knowing what you are asking for, not saying thank you for the big and the small.

Q: What is the most important thing for organizers to keep in mind when lobbying?

A: When you’re going to lobby an elected official, participants and organizers need to always think about how to effectively advocate their position and at the same time how to build a successful symbiotic relationship with the elected official and their staff. The difference between doing that is similar to having a friend ask you for a favor and having a stranger ask you for a favor. The focus of this panel training session will be on Congressional and State elected official offices. Organizers will teach tips about meeting with staff members at the local District Office’s and staff members working on Capitol Hill and in the “Building”.

Q: Why should folks attend your session at Netroots Nation, and how can they connect with you?

A: Knowing how the office of an elected official operates is key to being an effective advocate. I will share insider tips gleaned from hundreds of meetings taken and given on both sides of the table. Attendees can connect with me @nicthebrick.

 

To attend this training, or one of the 39 others at Netroots Nation 2013 in San Jose, register now.


About Melissa Foley

Melissa is the Director of Training and Mentoring for Netroots Foundation and New Media Mentors. She aims to use her MBA + nonprofit background to teach organizations to use new media tools strategically.