At least dozens of times over the past several years, I have had people tell me, often very flustered, “oh no, I’m not a lobbyist. I just (fill in the blank–educate, advocate, inform).” Sometimes these people are hedging a bit because they aren’t supposed to be lobbying (like they haven’t filled out a 501(h) election form, or they work for a public entity and are restricted in what they can do), but, more often, they think that they will somehow be looked down upon if they admit that they do, in fact, engage in what has been construed to be an ugly activity–lobbying. I think that those of us who seek to use our relationships, information, and considerable skill to influence elected officials to make sound public policy decisions that will help the vulnerable populations with which we work need to reclaim the word, and the idea behind it–“I am a lobbyist.” (see, it’s not so hard to say!)
Here are some of the resources that I use in class to help my students get over that initial hurdle and see themselves as lobbyists–a lecture that outlines legislative advocacy and a handout that we use for roleplaying (a necessary evil for social work advocates, who tend to be less comfortable than clinical social workers with this ‘touchy feely’ stuff!). Practice, and then make your first phone call (or write your first letter, or organize your first rally), and, then…say that you’re a lobbyist!
What is Classroom to Capitol?A resource for social workers, instructors, and students in the areas of community organizing, policy analysis and advocacy, and organizational development--a tool in your quest for social justice
Search This Site
- KS Senate should override veto to start down path to the strong revenue foundation we deserve. My kids' future starts today! #ksleg 5 months ago
- My privilege condemns me if I don't deploy it. I will show up at ICE check-ins to resist deportations bit.ly/2lwZbyB?source…. #HereToStay 5 months ago
- I love going w/friends to MOCs. But it's citizenship, not resistance. I'm up for both (!) but they're not the same. wpo.st/mG8W2 6 months ago
- My to-do list. Read this. Share it. Then spend every minute trying to live it. mic.com/articles/16672… 6 months ago
- I'll never forget happy day we got #DACA! These young immigrants represent best of America--talent, ambition, welcoming. #heretostay 6 months ago
social policy, social work, advocacy, and community organizing analysis and commentary
USE AGREEMENTAll materials on this site, except those explicitly credited to other sources, are the creation and property of Melinda K. Lewis. Visitors to this site are encouraged to use these materials for their advocacy and their own learning, and may share these materials as desired to further the pursuit of social justice. The author only requests that all materials obtained from this site, including presentations, documents, and images, be credited to Melinda K. Lewis, and that others be directed to this site for additional information. No material from this site may be sold or used for any commercial purposes without the express written permission of Melinda K. Lewis.
DisclaimerMelinda Lewis takes full responsibility for the content featured directly on this blog. This site is in no way affiliated with the University of Kansas or its School of Social Welfare. The opinions and commentary contained here are those of the author alone, who makes no claim to speak on behalf of other students, faculty, or administration at the School.