We’re nearing the end of the year, temperatures will soon drop to below freezing, and you might be ready to take off your advocacy cap, throw on a Snuggie, and hibernate until Spring rolls around. But don’t give in to this temptation, because this is actually a very important time for your advocacy movement. Here are a few things you can do in December to ramp up your advocacy efforts.
- Gear up for next year. It’s time to create an advocacy agenda for 2012. Take a look back at what you accomplished this year and decide where you want to be by the end of next year. Do you want to focus on increasing your advocate base? Making them more active? Getting legislation passed? Pick one or two main areas for improvement and build a plan around achieving your new goals. Consider what relevant legislative battles could potentially come up in 2012 and decide how you want to tailor your advocacy in the context of November elections. Take the time to ask your members for feedback and ask them what tools would help them be better advocates next year.
- Meet with Members back in the district. At some point in December your Members of Congress will be back in their districts. Ask your legislators to do a site visit or hold a meeting with you in one of their district offices. This is a great opportunity to show your legislators why your industry or cause is important to their constituents. If you can’t get a meeting with the Member, take some time to meet with their district office staff members. Building these relationships now will be beneficial to you down the line when the 2013 budget battle begins in February (that is, if they ever resolve the 2012 budget battle..)
Keep up the good work and you’ll be better prepared for the upcoming legislative year. Once you’ve done this, then you can treat yourself to some eggnog, toss on that Snuggie, and enjoy the Holidays knowing you were a good little advocate this year.