Citizen's Lobbying Guide

Lobbying is a valuable skill, and one often underutilized by local grassroots organizations. Lobbying is a form of advocacy directed at influencing the actions of elected officials. Your elected officials are in office to represent you, their constituents. It is their job to listen to your concerns and to take them into account when making decisions. However, elected officials are not mind readers -- you must tell them what you want them to do. Lobbying is how you do that.

Lobbying is something that anyone can do -- and something that many more people should do! When used by people working in the public interest, lobbying is a force for good.


The purpose of this guide is to help you lobby effectively on the state and local level.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What is Lobbying?
  • Lobbying Basics
  • Who Can Lobby
  • In-Person Visits
  • Mapping Out A Strategy
  • Setting up the Meeting
  • Who Should Attend
  • Materials to Prepare
  • Prior to the Meeting
  • How to Dress
  • At the Meeting
  • After the Meeting
  • Other Methods of Lobbying
  • Petitions
  • Letters, Postcards and Emails
  • Phone Calls
  • The Vote