Often when thinking about advocacy and advocating for your community, business or organization, the person(s) that comes to mind is the legislator. Obviously they are quite important, and the ultimate decision makers when voting on issues affecting your communities. However, there is another very important group of people that deserve as much of your time and attention as the lawmaker themselves. And that is their staff!
These individuals are much more than just an employee. They are often a confidant, advisor and influencer when it comes time for legislators to:
1. Decide how to vote
2. Decide what bills to file
3. Decide to request appropriations
4. Fully understand the impact of legislation (develop talking points)
5. Draft bill language
6. Debate bills in committee
So look for opportunities to really build a relationship with them for the benefit of your organization, city or small business. Below are some examples:
- For local governments – Initiate a quarterly meeting with city senior staff (or town manager/clerk) with the lawmakers’ legislative aides for the purpose of keeping them up-to-date on activities within your town.
- Send them a thank you note, recognizing them for their service.
- If it’s been awhile since they’ve visited your facilities, invite them for a tour and conversation to keep bring them up-to-date on the challenges or opportunities you’re experiencing.
And above all, always treat them with the respect they deserve. These are hardworking men and women that, like their lawmakers, truly want to make a difference in their communities.
Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy