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Lobby Day for Animals FAQ
How will I find my legislators’ offices?
We will have maps of the State House and staff to direct you. The State House also has very helpful signs in the building to allow the public to find offices.
How will I know if other attendees will be in my meeting with me?
Advocates will have the option to sit with other attendees from their region. This will give you a good opportunity to connect with advocates who will be going to your meeting. We also suggest you meet outside a legislator’s office a little early to meet with your group. You will have nametags identifying you as participants in Lobby Day for Animals, so that should help find each other outside the specific legislator’s office. Once you are at the office and it is time for your meeting, simply let the receptionist know that you have an appointment.
What if I really don’t want to go alone?
If you have a meeting set up and would like someone to accompany you, please let us know immediately by emailing email@example.com. We will try to find a staff member or other experienced person to attend with you.
How do I start the conversation (and keep it going)?
Start by thanking the legislator or staff person for meeting with you and introduce yourself. Let them know that you are a constituent and where you live. Let them know that animal issues are important to you and what bills you are interested in (you have information about bills in your packet). Please give the legislator/staff person one of the copies of the fact sheets in your folder (the materials for your legislator will be labeled). We may ask you to discuss specific issues depending on who your legislators are; if not, you can start talking about the bills in the packet. Feel free to tell your legislators why an issue is important to you, your family, friends and community. You can talk about your personal interest in animals and what caused it (you’ve adopted homeless, abused animals, etc). Share any expertise or experience you have. Also, be sure to listen to the legislator’s comments and questions. This can give you cues on how to make your points and what additional information might be helpful. Ask what the best way to follow-up is — email? Phone call?
What if they ask me questions and I don’t know the answer?
You are not expected to be an expert on every issue — you are a citizen who cares about animals and has an opinion. If a legislator asks a question and you do not know the answer, simply state that and let them know you will follow up with an answer. Then, let us know and we will help you find the answer.
Can I talk about bills that aren’t on your list or that aren’t the priorities you have identified?
We’d like you to discuss the bills in the packet. However, an important message for the day is not just about specific bills, but that legislators have constituents in their districts that care tremendously about animals and are willing to take time and effort to advocate for them. We have prioritized these issues due to their impact on animals and where they are in the legislative process, However, we understand that certain issues are important to people for various reasons, so it is okay if you mention other issues. We ask that you please discuss the bills in your packet first, followed by those issues that are key to you.
Should I expect them to let me know if they support or oppose a bill?
Please ask legislators if they have formed a position on these bills (you can share this with us later via the meeting form evaluations provided to you). If they are not swayed by your conversation or disagree with you, don’t get hostile. Just because your legislator is against you on this issue doesn’t mean they will always be. Let them know you appreciate their time and consideration. Ask the legislator or staff person why they have this opinion and if there is additional information that would help change their opinion. If they don’t have a position, ask what they need to decide and discuss how you should follow up.
What should I do after my meetings?
Check back in with us at the Great Hall and complete the meeting evaluations in your packet.