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January 17, 2005

Learn to lobby your legislators -- January 23rd, Olympia

Lots of people think that lobbying is something that the alligator skin shoe crowd does over three-martini lunches and in smoke-filled rooms.  And Olympia is definitely crawling with professional lobbyists.   But one of the most powerful forces in the state capitol is the "citizen lobbyist" -- an ordinary Joe or Jane like you and me who goes down to meet with their legislator about something that's important to 'em.

I can already hear you asking, "How do I learn to be a citizen lobbyist, Jon?"  That's where our friends at the Sierra Club come in.  Contrary to popular misconception, nonprofits (including both C3s and C4s like the Sierra Club) can spend their dollars teaching folks how to win friends and influence legislation down in Olympia.

Here's the scoop:

Sierra Club Environmental briefing/lobbying training
Sunday, January 23rd, 1:00-5:00 pm in Olympia

At the workshop you will learn more about: The Sierra Club Legislative Liaison program. How to make good policy happen through the  legislative process, and how to build a relationship with your senator and representatives to encourage them to support the environment.

Space is limited. To register, please contact staff member Craig Engelking at (360) 561-7701 or email craig.engelking@comcast.net or Chapter Legislative Chair Holly Forrest at 360 891-0929 or holly.forrest@cascade.sierraclub.org.

You'll also get an earful about the Priorities for a Healthy Washington, the four environmental bills the Sierra Club (and other enviros) are focusing on moving through Olympia this year.

(UPDATE: clarified that 501c3 nonprofits CAN lobby. Thanks to commenter Dan for picking up on my ambigious/lazy turn or phrase.  For much, much more on nonprofits and lobbying see the Alliance for Justice website.)

Posted by Jon Stahl on January 17, 2005 at 06:16 PM in Policy | Permalink


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contrary to popular belief, you can lobby if you are a 501-c-3. Don't help spread that misconception.

Posted by: Dan | Jan 18, 2005 5:36:25 PM

Thanks so much for the mention of our briefing/training in Evergreen Politics! I'm excited at the opportunity to educate folks about how to advocate for good environmental policies at our state level. Lawmakers truly appreciate visits from real people who live in their districts. This year's state senate offers some new faces and a more pro-environmental mix, thanks in part to the work of many activists to support good candidates. Sierra Club's unique blend of c-3 educational outreach work, our c-4 advocacy efforts, and our PAC's (political action committee) grassroots strength make the organization very effective indeed.

If you're unable to attend this Sunday, but are interested in learning lobbying skills to promote "good stuff" like clean air and water, contact me!

Posted by: Holly Forrest | Jan 18, 2005 7:33:58 PM

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