Note: This show was originally scheduled for July 14, 2013 but had to be rescheduled.
We don't think of that as a nice word in the U.S. It conjures up mental pictures of oily men passing around favors in the back rooms of government buildings. Like most stereotypes, of course, this one is largely incorrect. All sorts of people lobby their governments, including people like you and me.
Citizen lobbyists are very much needed for our democratic processes to work. Most of us, however, aren't used to telling our representatives in government that our needs are important. We're not even very good at telling them what those needs are.
Luckily for us, American Atheists Managing Director Amanda Knief has taken her years of lobbying experience and distilled them down for us. Her new book, The Citizen Lobbyist: A How-to Manual for Making Your Voice Heard in Government, is full of practical, easy-to-follow advice for people who have never lobbied and those who want to lobby more effectively. From the publisher's description:
More citizen involvement is needed in our government processes to ensure the voices of the people are heard over the money of paid lobbyists, unions, and coalitions, both in Washington, DC, and in state capitals across the country. Too often our public officials seem removed from the people who hired them to be their representatives and fail to work on their behalf. The Citizen Lobbyist is a handbook for anyone who wants to learn about how to be active in local, state, and federal government and have a voice in creating public policy. It gives a step-by-step plan on how to lobby elected officials about whatever issues you care about, offers information on how to plan a lobbying meeting for individuals and groups, and provides sample lobbying worksheets and resources to assist with finding legislative information and history. The Citizen Lobbyist is your go-to reference for being a grassroots activist and citizen lobbyist.
Ms. Knief will also be one of the speakers at our regional conference on August 10. Listen this Sunday, then come out to see her speak!