How can I make a difference?
- Write! - By writing a Letter to The Editor of local papers.
- Show Solidarity! - By organizing or attending demonstrations and rallies.
- Speak Out! - By testifying at hearings on legislation.
- Hold Officials Accountable! - By calling or writing your elected officials to let them know how you feel.
- Participate! - By coming to our events and getting friends and neighbors to join in doing the same.
- Make a $ contribution to the Lincoln County Democratic Party by joining the Frances Perkins Club of the Lincoln County
- The vast majority of what we do is through volunteer time and effort, but there are costs, particularly for campaign work.
Make a difference by helping fund our work.
Tips for Advocacy on Legislation:
- Public Hearings on Bills in Committees
- This is your opportunity to give testimony on a bill. You usually only have about three minutes to testify, so be succinct. If you can, bring about 20 copies of your testimony for the full Committee and staff. You can also just send some written testimony to the Committee and not attend.
- It is also good to just attend hearings to listen and lend support. The sheers numbers of people in the hearing room sends a message to the legislators and the press.
- Bills get their most press when they are being “heard” in Committee. This is a good time to send letters to the editor or compose editorials for publication.
- Work Sessions on Bills in Committees
- This is the time when Committees discuss the bills, suggest changes or amendments, and then vote. Sometimes bills go through two or three work sessions. The public cannot participate in work sessions, only observe. Sometimes legislators will ask someone from the audience to speak. Sometimes you can send a note to a legislator on the Committee that you may know, asking him/her to ask a specific question.
- It is good to attend work sessions if you want to see who needs the most lobbying or if you want to arm yourself with information for future letters or contacts.
- Contacting Committee Members
- You can call or email Committee members about bills they are considering, particularly if they are your own representatives. When it gets late in the session (about mid-April onward), emails are less effective. Hand written letters/notes and phone calls are best to Committee members.
- When Bills Are Reported Out of Committee
- Unanimous Ought to Pass or Unanimous Ought Not to Pass reports from Committee are usually done deals…there’s not much discussion by the full House or Senate (but miracles do sometimes happen!) Divided Reports are the most controversial and are the most debated on the floor.
- Scheduling of those bills is entirely up to the leadership of the two houses. A bill can come up very quickly for a floor vote, so check the daily calendars of the House or Senate.
- When these bills are reported out of Committee and are heading to the floor, it’s a great time to start ramping up contacts with your own legislators because they will have to vote on these bills sometime soon. Phone calls are always good…you often just leave a message on your legislator’s answering machine. Handwritten postcards are great too. This is also a good time to get some quick letters to the editor into the newspaper.
- The Budget
- Flooding the Appropriations Committee with emails, as many advocacy organizations do, has limited usefulness and is actually counterproductive late in the deliberations of the Committee. What is quite effective is talking to your local legislator about your budget concerns and suggesting they he/she bring this up with Appropriations Committee members or bring up concerns in party caucus meetings. This “insider” advocacy is most the most effective method late in the session.
- Bond Issues
- These bill are heard by the Appropriations Committee but not until they have reported the budget out of their Committee (usually early to mid-May). Advocacy for bond issues is therefore most effective late in the session rather than early.