At the heart of the Association's lobbying strategy is the grassroots involvement of members in every corner of the state. Although ISEA's full-time lobbyists play a key role during the session, legislators want--and need--to hear how their actions will impact children and education back home.
Lobbying isn't hard--and it can be fun. You don't have to be an expert on school finance or anything else but you are the expert on how legislation will affect your students and your school.
Here are some tips for effective lobbying:
- Keep on top of the issues by reading the weekly Hotline and visiting us on Twitter and Facebook.
- The most effective member-lobbyists are those who have developed a personal relationship with their legislators. Plan to keep in touch throughout the session via letters, phone calls, or personal visits when they are home for the weekend.
- If you plan to meet with your legislator at the Capitol during the legislative session, be sure to schedule an appointment in advance. If you plan on taking them to lunch, remember that they will probably want to pay their own way--Iowa law prohibits them from accepting gifts valued at more than $3.
- Personal letters are always appreciated. Remember to stick to only one or two issues at a time, provide real-life personal examples, and be polite. Also, don't forget to carefully proofread your letter. Send your letter, addressed simply to: "Dear Rep." (fill in the name) or "Dear Sen." (fill in the name), Iowa Senate or Iowa House of Representatives, State Capitol Building, Des Moines, IA 50319.
- You can reach legislators through the ISEA's Legislative Action Center. We recommend using your personal email address when corresponding with your legislator.
- When speed is of the essence, you can leave a quick message for your legislator by calling 515-281-3371 (Senate) or 515-281-3221 (House).