Monday, March 9, 2009

How To Lobby For Laws

You can make a difference in what laws are passed! I took the following excerpt on how to lobby for laws from a brochure that I got from a Assemblyman at a recent Community Council Meeting:

"You can give your Assemblymember and Senator ideas for new laws. If you want to do that or if you hear about legislation that affects you, it's time to lobby in Albany [or, in your state capital]! You can help pass or defeat legislation by making sure your legislators know your opinions.

It's important to know the official number of the bill and its sponsor. That way legislators will know what bill you're referring to.

When your bill gets assigned to a committee, write, phone, e-mail or visit the committee chair and other legislators who sit on the committee to give them your position on the bill...Lobby your legislators and get other constituents to lobby theirs. Even one constituent letter or visit on a bill can have an impact on how a legislator votes.

Just before your bill comes up for a vote by all members of the Assembly, organize a writing and calling campaign for or against the bill. If it passes and is sent to the Senate, be prepared to go through the same process there. Finally, it will go before the Governor who will wither sign it into law our veto it- you can influence his actions as well with calls and letters.

Remember, the best way for you to affect change is to make your views known."

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