If You Give a Mouse a Lobby Visit

April 4, 2011
by Cindy Changyit Levin, Development Associate

A couple of years ago, a friend and I were joking about how, if you are successful, every step of lobbying seems to lead to more and more possibilities. It’s just like the well-loved children’s book by Laura Numeroff titled If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

If you take a mouse to a face-to-face meeting with a representative or senator, you will certainly be taking stories of real people’s struggles to those with the power to change things. But first, you will have to create a presentation and good leave-behind documents. 

If your member of Congress likes your message and leave-behinds, you’ll have to follow up with her staff. 

If her staff completes your requests, you should generate media in her district. 

If your media gets published, you’ll send it to all related members of Congress with a note, e-mail it to their aides, distribute it to your activist partners, and invite your local friends to respond to it with their own letters to the editor. 

If your friends get their own media published, they’ll probably get excited and want to go to your member of Congress’ town hall meeting with you to ask a question.

If your exchange at the town call gets televised, your rep might want to capitalize on the publicity and take action quickly with your member of Congress’ colleagues. This means you should get your activist friends in those districts to call on their members of Congress, too.

If enough members of Congress back your issue, you may get your chosen legislation passed.

If the legislation gets passed, you might even get invited to the White House to meet the President at a Rose Garden ceremony (with Bono and Jeffery Sachs, of course) because of your part in fighting extreme poverty.

If you become friends with Bono and Sachs, they’ll probably take you to Africa to teach you more about the crushing need for advocacy in eradicating extreme poverty.

If you meet a lot of people living on less than $1.25 a day and take the time to understand their struggles, then you’ll want to help them by taking their stories to people with the power to change things.

Wait a minute! 

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