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What We Learned

"I'm Just a Bill" walked onstage to explain lobbying to a room full of seasoned advocates...definitely a highlight

This last month, we were a part of the FARE Courage at Congress fly-in to advocate for several key pieces of food allergy legislation. The training we received beforehand in fighting for food allergy protections under the law was indispensable when we lobbied legislators the next day and continues to be useful as we continue to fight! I'm going to take you through the highlights right here.

  1. Pleasantly persistent: stay in their radar screen

A meeting can go really well, but it's important to follow up and write to the people you met with to make sure they don't forget what you said.

2. Thank them

These people are incredibly busy, and taking the time and effort to open up their minds to you should be appreciated and will make them listen to you.

3. Follow up

4. Continue to offer yourself as resource

Learning about a complicated issue doesn't end at the end of the meeting. For them to make the decision of supporting your cause, it'll require additional research nine times out of 10. Make sure that they know where they can easily go to find that information: you.

Another important element is to tell personal stories. If you're advocating for a cause, you likely have a personal story that led you to advocate for the cause. If you tell a lawmaker the story, they'll often come to believe in your cause. That's why when I was pitching laws the next day to busy congressional offices who have a meeting every half-hour for hours a day almost every day of the year, I made sure to take a moment to take them through the step-by-step of an allergic reaction, and then my sister, Lilia, followed it up with the effect it had on our family. We're fairly confident it worked.

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