Before the Meeting
- Read the issue documents and backgrounders.
- Make sure you bring the “Leave Behind Kit” with you.
- Gather 15 minutes ahead of time, close to the meeting location.
- Make sure you know who will take the lead and who will write the Lobby Report.
- Establish when other lobby group members will add comments or answer questions.
At the Meeting
- Introduce yourselves to the staff as well as the elected representative.
- Make a short statement of your position. If you have any requests to make of the elected representative (such as voting a certain way, presenting a petition, advocating your position to other decision-makers, etc.) be sure to make those clear from the start.
- Speak from your own experience as a worker, or as a representative of workers. Stick to what you know and why your opinions matter.
- Try to stay in control of the meeting. Don’t get sidetracked by the elected representative or any staff who are also in attendance. Stick to the issues you asked to discuss first and foremost.
- Try to get a commitment from the elected representative before the end of the meeting. Make sure any commitments are mutually understood, including those made by you to follow up. Indicate that you want to meet again.
- Say “thank you” to the elected representative and be sure to thank the staff who worked to make your meeting happen. You will need their help to make future meetings possible.
- Leave your contact information with the representative and their staff.
After the Meeting
- Immediately sit down and talk about what was said during the meeting. Decide what, if any, follow-up action is required and who will do it.
- Fill out a report, right away!
- Tell your union membership about the meeting and your expectations.
- Encourage co-workers and other union members to contact the elected representative or their office about the meeting and its results. If you are satisfied, they should express their thanks; if you are not satisfied, they should express their disappointment.
- Promptly send a thank you message to the elected representative. A letter is best, but an e-mail message copied to their staff will also do. Be sure to include any additional information you may have promised, repeat your main requests and any commitments that were made.
- Set up another meeting, if necessary.