This post is the second in a series designed to give readers tools to begin becoming effective advocates for policy direction at the local, federal, and state level. This post focuses on the federal level.
Generally, the process boils down to a few stages. However, the details of each process at the local, state, and federal level are quite different. Nonetheless, those who want to be effective advocates must master each of the following topics.
- How the legislative process works;
- Who your legislators are and the part they and their staff play;
- How to track legislation from inception to bill signing;
- How to choose, and execute, an advocacy strategy.
Things can get pretty complicated at the federal level, and it’s only the dedicated individual who can get a thorough grasp on tracking legislation and making their individual voice heard. For the most part we find ourselves signing up to be notified by individuals, or organizations, who have staff to do this, and who then let the rest of know where and how to contact our representatives.
For people who want to spend some serious time having their say on federal policies, some former Congressional staffers have developed The Indivisible Guide which purports to lay out the steps to making Congress listen. This 26-page document offers the how-tos, and whys, for approaching our federal representatives.
And for quick reference, here is a quick look-up directory of the Federal Representatives for those of us who live in Alaska.