I’m happy to announce that early next year, my first book will finally be published. It has been a long, 3-year journey. There have been several roadblocks along the way, but I’ve persevered. And as an advocate you can too!
Strong relationships are the foundation of successful advocacy. So if the loss of your favorite candidate is in the way of building that relationship, let’s talk about what you can do to detour around this roadblock.
It starts by always taking the high road. If your candidate won, hopefully you’ve taken time to congratulate them. And if their opponent won, hopefully you have congratulated them too. The winner is the winner! And that person will be representing you and your community for at least the next two years. So it’s time to get over the anger or heartbreak of defeat, accept the outcome and move forward.
Next, extend an olive branch and schedule some time to introduce yourself to legislator and their staff. And if you represent a local government, organization or association, invite them to meet your staff (or board of directors) and give them a tour! This is such powerful strategy. Even if your candidate won, I still encourage you to do this. They may be newly elected to office, or perhaps much has changed since their last visit. It is a fantastic great opportunity to familiarize them with what you are doing for the benefit of their constituents.
Thirdly, even though you may not have supported them as a candidate, helping them be successful will only benefit your community. So offer to be a resource if they need information about local government or your organization. Or if you volunteer for a local non-profit, or have expertise in specific subject matter, let them know. At some point they may call upon you for assistance.
Lastly, “set the bar high” for others by refraining from public bashing of lawmakers through print or social media. It is always okay to disagree philosophically and politically. A healthy debate is good for the political process. But as a leader in your community, many people highly value your opinion. Speaking ill of an elected official can skew their opinion unnecessarily and damage any hope of developing that much-needed relationship.
The holiday season is upon us and a new year is just around the corner. So committing to build a strong relationship with your new or re-elected legislators is the right way to kick off the season and demonstrate you too are a winner!
Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy