Speak Up, advocating and lobbying, is bringing the power of moral authority to the political process. Whether it’s lobbying legislators, attending rallies, signing letters or speaking at public hearings – NYIPL mobilizes people of faith across the state to engage in the political process.
As one house of worship, any of us can find ourselves easily dismissed but when we stand together as one united voice of many faiths across New York State, our representatives take note. In 2016, we are are already making a difference, pushing legislators and regulatory agencies to put climate change at the forefront. We visit our representatives and our senators, both State and National, and lobby for legislation based on climate science as our conscience demands.
You are invited to join us. Our legislators pay attention when we, their constituents, take the time to meet with them, either in their Albany office or in-district. You can find your Assembly member here and find your state Senator here.
Here are eight tips for an effective citizen lobbying visit:
- Make an appointment. Call, be polite, and request a meeting with your Senator or Assembly member. They will most likely direct you to a staff member who handles the energy portfolio.
- Prepare your case for support on the issue but conclude with a specific ask. If there is already a bill, tell the legislative consultant the name of the bill and its number. Summarize your points on a page you can leave with the office along with your contact information.
- Dress neatly: business attire is necessary. If you have a suit, wear it.
- Be on time. Better yet, be early.
- During your visit, remain polite and patient but stay on topic. Be prepared to bring the conversation back to climate change if you are lead off-topic.
- Tell your personal story — why are you concerned about global warming? Reference your faith tradition and how that informs your concern.
- It’s ok say “I don’t know” if you are asked a question you can’t answer. This gives you an opportunity to follow up after the meeting with a response.
- Lastly, call or email NYIPL to tell us about your visit! We want to know how it went, and we’ll feature a quote from you on our website! Your experience will help inform and inspire others.