Whether you are lobbying Congress or the State House you can follow this simple guide to building your lobbying team and take advantage of the resources provided by Preservation Action, your grassroots lobby for historic preservation.
Schedule an Appointment
Schedule an appointment as soon as possible by calling the office of your representatives in Congress. Be firm in your request to see the Member, as you may be traveling a great distance to get to Capital Hill. If you have trouble getting time to the Member it can be just as helpful to meet with a staff person who works on preservation issues.
Prepare for your Meeting
Prepare and send beforehand a memorandum or agenda that outlines what you plan to discuss at the meeting and who will be attending. Staff with appreciate the opportunity to familiarize them selves with the issues and brief their boss. Include all bill numbers when referencing particular legislation.
Gather Background Materials
Gather any background information that may be useful including information about preservation projects or historic sites in their home districts. Research the latest funding levels and most recent legislative updates.
Contact the Members office, or you specific contact, a week or so the meeting to reconfirm your appointment.
Bring the Basics
Bring along copies of your memorandum and agenda, and a list of all participants including contact information.
Acknowledge the Member’s Past Support
Acknowledge the Member’s support for preservation in the past, like co-sponsorship of a particular bill or their membership in the Historic Preservation Caucus.
Be Clear in your Conversation
Talk clearly and succinctly about the issues you plan to address and be sure to use specific examples from your Member’s state or district. If several people will be at the meeting, make sure to coordinate you remarks and decide ahead of time who with table the lead and how.
Suggest a follow-up, like a meeting in the district or with the districts staff or offer to provide additional materials. ask the member who your point of contact should be on the matter.
Thank your Representative
Send a thank you note to both the Member and staff along with any additional materials they may have asked for or that you promised to send.
Tell Preservation Action about Meeting
Complete and return a Lobby Report Form to Preservation Action.
Publicize your Visit
Publicize your visit. Include a story in your upcoming newsletter. Send photos and press release to the local and regional newspapers, organizations, and active blogs.
Include your Representative in future Preservation Actions
Think creatively about ways to involve you Member in a preservation related activity. Invite him/her on a tour, or ask him/her to speak at your conference. Stay connected to the Member and staff person. Cultivate you Member as a preservation champion in the future.