Build Support:

Educating and Lobbying
Elected Officials

In order to counter the influence and political clout of the beverage and retail industry lobbies it is imperative that constituents contact their state legislators. Handwritten letters, phone calls, emails, and personal visits to legislators from constituents should be encouraged.

It is important that public support be voiced by a variety of constituencies: small business owners, local environmental and labor activists, students, hunters, fishermen, farmers, religious groups, scout troops, and other concerned citizens. Constituents have far more influence than organizations. If possible, find constituents that have been involved in a legislators election campaign and or contributed to his/her election. These grassroots campaign workers and supporters are even more influential than someone who is simply a registered voter.

It is certainly possible (and recommended) to do grassroots activism the old fashioned way, with a personal touch that is more likely to get a legislator's attention than any mass-produced form of communication. However, when pressed for time and resources, a good way to rally a group of constituents and to facilitate communication with legislators is to use an online advocacy service. There are several of these. You might find the Network for Good's Online Advocacy pages helpful in finding one that works for you.

Before setting up an appointment at the statehouse or in a legislator's district office, citizens and professional lobbyists alike must be familiar with the process of enacting a bill, get to know the background and interests of the legislator and be comfortable with the facts and the rebuttals to opposition arguments.

Once you have an appointment, you can expect to make a testimony before a legislative committee, such as the two that follow.

>>On to Know the Opposition>>

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