It’s so easy somedays to hit the snooze button and not to go to the gym. Isn’t it? We convince ourselves that we’ll get up tomorrow and work out twice as hard. But then one day becomes two, two becomes three and so on and so on. Until we’re out of shape and have to start over.
Advocacy can be the same. Sometimes, especially during the summer it’s easy to become complacent and put off your advocacy strategies until later. This can be especially true when you know the legislative session is months away.
However, in the course of my interviews with Florida lawmakers we’ve asked them about the timing to request appropriations. Each and every one of them (both Republican and Democrats) have said it’s NEVER too early to ask…and the sooner the better! That means complacency won’t work, and could result in your city, town, association or organization not getting the money you need next year. Below are some tips to help you:
- Start by having a conversation with your legislator(s) about your needs.
- Follow-up with a tour (if applicable) of your project or facility so they can see exactly what you want funded and why.
- If you received appropriations in the last session, share details about how you have utilized those funds and what they have done to benefit your city, town, organization, etc. An informed lawmaker is much more likely to help you!
- Talk with the legislator’s staff about what specific information they need to help you.
- Continue communication with them about the project, organization, etc.. This is especially true if something changes between now and when they submit the appropriations request.
- Be ready to work for what you want. Some lawmakers may expect you to do the majority of the work to secure an appropriation while some may do it for you. But it is best to be prepared either way.
Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy