Often when I talk with advocates, they share their frustration about not having enough time to engage lawmakers as much or as often as they know they should. So a piece of advice I like to share is to “readjust their lenses”!
Now that probably doesn’t make much sense if you don’t wear glasses or have contacts, but what it really means is to simply think about some of the activities or responsibilities you’re currently doing and decide if with just a little effort it could become a great advocacy opportunity! Below are just a few strategies to help you start thinking about your own possibilities.
- Local Government Advocates – The power of the personal invitation cannot be understated! If you are already attending events in your community and/or meeting with homeowners associations, civic or business groups, personally invite those you are trying to influence to join you. Even if the events open to the public, a personal invitation demonstrates their presence and participation are important to you.
- Organizations – Extend a personal invitation to lawmakers from the board chairman to join you for all events. Even the smallest activity is an opportunity to include them and increase awareness about what you are doing in service to others. For example, if one of your clients who was homeless or unemployed now has a job or a place to live, that’s certainly a reason to celebrate! And it’s an opportunity for a legislator to meet this individual, hear their story, and most importantly, how your organization helped make it possible. This provides a great argument for continued and increased funding of your operations.
- Businesses – Have you just added a new product line or service, hired new employees, or increased their benefits? Extend a personal invitation to lawmakers to join you in celebrating this success! And if this was made possible because of legislation resulting in lower taxes, fees, or regulations, these are even more reasons to invite them. They will love to share your success story with their colleagues.
The point to remember is that advocacy doesn’t have to be, and actually shouldn’t be a full-time or even part-time job! Some of the easiest (and least time consuming) strategies can have the greatest influence if done at the right time in the right way! Learn more in my book A Journey To Yes. #YourJourneyStartsToday
Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy