Virtual lobbying during the pandemic: Make your voice heard.

Now is our moment.

By: Larry Ladutke, AIUSA Legislative Coordinator, NJ

  • When you get in touch, tell the office which issue you want to discuss and who will take part in the conference. Ask which platform they would prefer.
  • Practice the meeting using the same platform you will use for the actual meeting — either a conference call or a video call platform.
  • If it’s a video conference, make a good impression by finding a neat area of your home to sit at during the conference and dress professionally.
  • Be Brief: Staff members are usually busy, but right now they are busier than ever. Know exactly what you need to say — and especially what you want the elected official to do!
  • Be Courteous: Begin by thanking the staff for taking the time to meet with you. Ask your Legislative Coordinator or an Amnesty Staff member for something you can thank your elected official for doing, such as cosponsoring a bill on ending gun violence. Be respectful throughout the call, even if they disagree with you, and thank them at the end of the meeting.
  • Once the meeting is over, send a thank-you email message that reiterates what you want your elected official to do. You can also thank elected officials publicly through social media. Make sure to use #AmnestyLobby in your post.
  • Let us know the meeting happened by logging the interaction through Amnesty.quorum.us
  • Attend a virtual town hall organized by your elected official and get placed in the queue to ask a question.
  • Find a news article or editorial about the issue and respond with a letter to the editor in which you mention your elected officials by name and ask them to take action.
  • Find out when your official will be on a call-in radio or television program and then call into the show.
  • Use social media. Call on officials to take action or thank them for something they did recently. Tag the handle of the elected officials office on Twitter or Instagram (be careful not to use any handles related to electoral campaigns) and add #AmnestyLobby. Provide links to information from Amnesty International or relevant news coverage, or attach media created by Amnesty or a photo of you holding a sign in support of the issue.

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