Being an Effective Advocate at the State Capitol

At last week’s Day at the Capitol event, Chamber members heard from the experts: lobbyists and state legislators about how to effectively advocate for an issue at the State Capitol.

Here are their tips:

Before a Hearing:

  • Do your research.
  • Know your legislative audience.
  • Have a strong, developed argument and reasons for your position.
  • Know your opposition.
  • Understand the other side’s view point and any weaknesses in your case.
  • “More Talk Better”: Meet with your supporters, opponents and legislators to ensure everyone is informed about the issue and any concerns have been discussed.
  • Reach out to legislators before a committee hearing and have a one-on-one meeting.
  • If possible, bring other supporters with you such as business experts or lobbyists who share your position on the issue.

Testifying in Committee:

  • Follow parliamentary procedure by always speaking through the committee Chair.
  • Sign in to speak.
  • Be prepared.
  • Be candid and honest about both sides.
  • Rely on people who agree with you and are experts to help as needed.
  • Remember: “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer.

After Committee:

  • If you answer “I don’t know,” be sure to follow up with the committee members with the answer to that question and any other needed information.
  • Thank committee members for their time and consideration of your position.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to advocate your position or registering to speak please email publicaffairs[at]phoenixchamber[dot]com.

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