engaging decision makers through grasstops outreach enhancing our ability to create political will 1

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Engaging Decision Makers Through Grasstops Outreach Enhancing Our Ability to Create Political Will 1 Slide 2 Engaging Decision Makers Constituents Staff Colleagues Media Paid Lobbyists Experts Personal History 2 Slide 3 Engaging Decision Makers Constituents Action Network R Advocates Grasstops 3 Slide 4 What the Heck is Grasstops?..mobilizing influential leaders in each community who can reach lawmakers at the federal, state and local levels, with facts tailored to their district's interests. PR Quarterly The companies specialize in a cutting-edge form of influence peddling called " grass tops," which attempts to get prominent local citizens and organizations to lobby on behalf of interest groups. Washington Post 4 Slide 5 Grasstops People with more influence than the average resident They could be: business owners, issue experts, heads of departments, other government leaders, people with money, academics, local celebrities, relatives, party supporters, faith leaders, and others They arent necessarily group members, but people we cultivate to take key actions on our behalf 5 Slide 6 What Can Grasstops Do? Open doors for meetings Shape public opinion Build the local group Get decision makers to take action Mobilize donors Create persuasive pressure Generate media coverage 6 Slide 7 How Does One Engage Grasstops? Through our existing connections and those of friends, family, colleagues Becoming part of leadership groups (Rotary and other service groups) Commenting on something they have done Attending community events and public meetings Cold calls Other ideas: 7 Slide 8 Why Would They Want to Help? People like to use their positions for good They care about the issues as much as many others You provide them with an opportunity to leverage who they are You appreciate what they do They see that they can really make a difference 8 Slide 9 Who Did You Engage & How? Bob Dickerson, Seattle WA Beth Wilson, Gig Harbor WA Roxanne Allen & Sandra Duckert, Albuquerque NM David Schubert, Houston, TX Margaret Smith Dallas, TX Frances Moore, Omaha NE Eloise Sutherland, Austin TX 9 Slide 10 Exercise: Who Will I Engage? Mapping to your member of Congress Mapping to you 10 Slide 11 Key Engagement Questions Could you help me make a connection? Who do you think would care about this? Who do you know that might help me get the Reps or Senators attention? Would you be willing to recommend that people get involved with us? 11 Slide 12 Exercise #2: The Dialogue Find one person on your grasstops list you want to engage and practice the conversation youll have with him/her. 12 Slide 13 What Did We Learn 13