So why should I bother? “They’ve already made up their mind when it’s time to vote, so they don’t want to listen nor do they care what I have to say”?
Sadly, I’ve heard these comments (and yes…excuses) more times than I can count for why people don’t engage lawmakers. But I can tell you from personal experience this is simply not true. In fact, it couldn’t be further from the truth. But what is true is that, on many occasions, legislators are looking to you to help educate them on an issue and help them decide how to vote.
And what’s also true is this. There is ALWAYS an opponent to every issue, no matter how popular it might be. And I promise your opponent isn’t staying silent! So you if choose not to get involved, lawmakers will only be hearing one side of the story and will think you don’t care or are happy with the status quo.
Legislators are incredibly busy, especially during the legislative session. They have several meetings each day with constituents, lobbyists and their colleagues. During these encounters, they hear countless bills, which means they don’t have the luxury of time to research and read every one. They often rely upon advocates like you to share what the legislation does (or doesn’t do), who will be affected, and how.
And this is where every advocate has the opportunity to be effective, from the novice to the veteran. You know your business, community or organization, and its people better than anyone. This means NO ONE, not even a professional lobbyist, can tell our story better than you!
No matter how discouraged you may get, or disgusted at the behavior of a few, keep this in mind: If you drop out, you leave the field to your opponents. – Joel Blackwell, Keep On Voting After the Election: How Ordinary People Can Get What They Want From Government.
So can you really afford to stay silent or do nothing?
YOU have the power to influence the political landscape in your community! So speak out, speak up and get engaged today!
Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy