Author Archive

Time to take….the advocacy road less traveled

For a lot of groups tasked with advocacy right now there is a bit of a “deer in the headlights” thing going on in terms of what to do. I mean how can you push your issues when Congress isn’t meeting, staffs are working from home and states have varying degrees of social distancing restrictions? Thirty years as an advocacy professional tells me that there is always opportunity during crisis, you just must think a little differently than perhaps you are accustomed. And recognize the groundwork you put in, despite the challenge, will go a long way in terms of your effectiveness when we see a more normal environment.

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Special guest blog by Roger Rickard, founder of Voices in Advocacy

In these uncertain times, I have been reminded of the wisdom in the great Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

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Kristen Prather, state director of grassroots programs at CUNA recently had an article in Campaigns & Elections with great tips on how to build an effective state advocacy program for national organizations. As she notes:

“Though these basic activities form the backbone of any successful state advocacy presence, there are even more beneficial/advanced activities for state-level advocacy. Organizations should always look for ways to better understand their members. A good way to do this is through surveys of membership looking at demographics, key issues to members, and determining if members know any elected officials and how they’re connected to them…

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Beware of Form Email Purgatory

Great minds think alike. It’s an old saying and usually offered in agreement with something you have just read or heard. That’s exactly the case when I read a recent post from the Congressional Management Foundation’s Seth Turner…

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Is your organization prepared to approach a “change” Congress in 2019?

By David Lusk

It’s uncertain if 2018 will be a “wave” election (a change in party control within the legislative branch), but we know it will be a “change” election. With less than three months before a new Congress takes over, your organization has likely finalized, or nearly finalized, your 2019 policy and advocacy strategy. Since there’s some uncertainty about party control in either chamber of Congress next year, your “strategery” likely accounts for both a Democratic and Republican majority in each. How well will your strategy address lawmakers unfamiliar with the processes and players on Capitol Hill? Will those numbers really be significant? Let’s take a closer look.

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