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Advocacy Toolkit

Lobbying is an important part of advocating for issues that impact our community. When you lobby a government official, you are attempting to influence decisions they make that affect you, your neighbors, our community, our state, or our country. 

How To Lobby Elected Officials

You can write a letter, schedule a visit, make a phone call, or send an email!

What to say and how to say it effectively: 

  1. Set your goals- one or two issues are a better way to go so your issues stand out and your intent is clear. What do you want to get out of your visit, email, or phone call? Are you asking them to support legislation, commit to a vote on your issue, or educate them on a specific topic?
     

  2. Listen to learn- listening is one of the most important things to do while lobbying. It’s your opportunity to learn more about the elected official’s thoughts on your issue, where they stand, and opportunities to provide more information on your topic. 
     

  3. Be prepared, but not an expert- Read up on your issue and be well prepared, but don’t feel like you need to be an expert in the field in order to talk to your elected official. It’s okay if you don’t know an answer to their question because this is a great opportunity to learn more and follow up with them once you know more. 
     

  4. Keep it short- try to keep your message short and concise. Elected officials want to hear from their constituents, but they also run on a tight schedule. Whether you like what you hear, or are disappointed in their response it’s okay to let them know, but be respectful. Always thank them for their time and leave room for further discussion if needed. 
     

  5. Build Rapport- express your appreciation to elected officials when they support your issues, but there may be a time when they don’t support an issue that you think they should. Even if they don’t support your position, your visit or communication on the issue could be enough to prevent them from being active opponents. 
     

  6. Share a personal story- Sharing a personal story about how your issue personally affects you can be powerful. Explaining why the issue is important to you through a story is a great way to make your issue real and relatable for your elected official.
     

  • Link to finding your legislator: https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

  • Map of districts, legislators or city councilors, and their contact info

  • Where is your congregation? List of congregations under each district

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There are many ways to support us! A gift of money can help us support all of our programs. A gift of time, through volunteering, can help us complete crucial projects. And donations of warmth, clothing, and shelter help keep folks living outside of shelter alive.

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