Contacting Congress

When contacting members of Congress, it is important to contact the Senators for your state and the Representative in the House who represents your congressional district. You can get their office phone numbers and mailing addresses here: List of Senators (sort by state) | Find your Representatives by your Zip Code Couriers are delivering to … Read more

Writing One-Pagers for Congressional Meetings

As an advocate, you must learn to draft effective one-page summaries that concisely and effectively summarizes your issue, provides relevant talking points and information on the status of a bill, and has your contact information. photo credit: mrbill An effective one-pager includes several critical pieces of information: the issue, background on the issue, status, and … Read more

The Life Cycle of Lobbying

There is a distinctive life cycle in lobbying. The moment a bill is introduced, interest groups that track that issue will begin lobbying the legislation related to it. Often, reporters monitor congressional committee consideration quite closely and will pose questions to members of Congress regarding their position on that legislation. As increased public awareness is … Read more

Recognizing Effective Grassroots Efforts

When your grassroots efforts are successful, there are many ways to recognize and reward those efforts. photo credit: moonlightbulb Give out annual awards for outstanding citizen efforts. Host a major event and present the awards during the event or cover it in a publication. Provide an opportunity for citizens to share their success stories with … Read more

How Legislatures, Including Congress, Really Work

When you attempt to influence a group of people, it is important to develop an understanding of the environment in which that group operates. Congressional and state legislative environments differ from other environments, including private and public workplaces. Learning to appreciate those differences as well as the inherent characteristics that are unique to legislative environments … Read more

“Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials” Author on C-SPAN

Bradford Fitch talked about his book Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials. Despite conventional wisdom about the power lobbyists have in Washington DC, Mr. Fitch believes that a well-informed constituency can be a driving force in swaying elected officials. The book offers advice on how to approach members of Congress, the value of being informed … Read more

“Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials” Author on C-SPAN Washington Journal November 26, 2010

Bradford Fitch will be on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” on Friday, November 26, 2010, 9:15 am. He will be interviewed about his new book, Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials. Video of the program will be available following the live show on the C-SPAN Video Library. The Citizen’s Handbook provides practical guidance how to prepare for … Read more

Who Really Has the Power in Washington? The Surprise Answer: Ordinary American Citizens

Feeling shut out of the political process by lobbyists and special interests? Insider Bradford Fitch has some good news for you: As it turns out, you’re the one in charge—NOT those rich and powerful lobbyists. photo credit: chesapeakeclimate Brad Fitch’s latest book, Citizen’s Handbook To Influencing Elected Officials: Citizen Advocacy in State Legislatures and Congress: … Read more

New books from TheCapitol.Net and Two Seas Media

Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: Citizen Advocacy in State Legislatures and Congress – A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates, by Bradford Fitch Practical guidance how to prepare for and meet with elected officials and staff, how to write effective letters and emails to elected officials, strategies for influencing legislators face-to-face, best practices … Read more

Tips for Organizing Grassroots Networks

When setting up a grassroots organization, you can organize the network in one of three different ways. photo credit: ricketyus With and organized formal membership, those who join are formal members who are either current or potential grassroots activists. They may be organized into local or state chapters. Labor unions and established trade associations are … Read more