How to Lobby the PTA Way

The title of this blog is also the title of this morning’s presentation here at the PTA Legislative Assembly.  I am watching a very nicely suited and clear-voiced young man telling me how lobbying isn’t a bad thing. He is reassuring me that nonprofits are allowed to lobby on issues, and that the PTA can take a stance on them (the PTA cannot lobby for or against a candidate).

The film is also telling us how to lobby our congressman. As in, don’t go in with cookies and act all reverent, don’t pitch on things other than the PTA. Show up, act professional, have strategy. Introduce yourself and represent your PTA, get into your agenda, and don’t expect more than 15-20 minutes with your congressional member.

To demonstrate this (including how to prepare), they have a sampling of people to show how PTA people act “wrongly”, and then “correctly”. This sample of people is the same people and includes the Scooby-Doo swirly effect to back up and show the “right” way after showing the “wrong” way. The sampling of people reminds me of the bridge of Star Trek – every creed and color accounted for. I wish I could say that about today’s attendees, who are 75/25 female to male, and 95/5 white to nonwhite.

I find this a bit patronizing, but useful. Do I see myself meeting with my local representatives? Yes. Do I see myself going to Olympia? Quite possibly. Do I see myself dressing in a navy blue power suit to do so? No. (But I won’t be wearing jeans and Doc Martens, either).

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One comment

  1. I think the bit about being professional and to the point will get you further than a power suit will. Of course, Sarah Palin is a whole other conversation. LOL

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