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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace


Panel on Lobbying


Lobbying is not an event but a process; it's a marathon, not a sprint. It's about developing relationships with individual members of Congress. Get to know your representatives politically and personally. Learn what committees they sit on and what issues are important to them.

Members of Congress are often in their home districts Friday through Monday. As such, staff are very important and function as gatekeepers to members of Congress. Ask to speak with the legislative director (generally called L.D.), although you will often speak with the legislative assistant. Always act polite and never bad-mouth a Representative or Senator to his or her staff.

Be concise and clear on what you're asking for. Spend five to ten minutes explaining what you want. Then leave a neat bulleted one-page summary explaining "here's what we want you to do."

Discount statements that aren't commitments. Even if you get a commitment, follow up-they will forget. Get cards, names, how to keep in touch, etc.

Always follow up with a thank you note that clearly express once again what you want. Follow-up is a continuation of the process. Ask questions such as, "Did you sign off on this?-Did you discuss this with your boss?-What are your plans?"

Remember that we have moral authority as the voices of Jews who support Israel and oppose the occupation. We have not been heard much to date, but we can be tremendously powerful. We are a growing voice in the Jewish community.


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