There is no shortage of issues that a citizen lobbyist may want to become involved with, whether related to gun control (or preventing gun laws), the environment, disappearing bees, the separation of religion and government, public education reform, LGBTQ rights, vaccine awareness, health care issues, women’s issues, defense spending, farm subsidies, closing Guantanamo Bay, voting reform, legalizing marijuana, repealing the death penalty, animal rights, juvenile justice reform, international rights issues–the list goes on and one. With so many issues swirling around to care about, you may feel like you are shouting into the wind. Part of being an effective citizen lobbyist is identifying the best way to approach a public official about your issue.
If you issue is a national issue, monitor whether there is any legislation already about the issue moving in Congress. You can use the Library of Congress’ website congress.gov to track all introduced legislation. Whether the legislation is compatible with your view on the issue, you have an opening to meet with sponsors and those opposed to the bill to discuss your view of the issue.
You don’t have to wait for someone else to introduce your issue to lobby on it. Don’t be afraid or hesitant to take your issue to your public officials and begin to familiarize them with the problem or solution you are proposing. It just might be a longer process.