When you think of lobbyists, you often think of men in suits bending the ear of elected officials. While this direct lobbying has been used by big corporations to help sway congressional votes in the past, lobbying is not reserved to companies who can afford to pay.
Grassroots lobbying can provide you with the opportunity to make your opinion known when it comes to important issues that your congressperson may be voting on in the near future.
What is Grassroots Lobbying?
Grassroots lobbying is essentially constituents joining together to support issues of common interest. There is power in numbers, and working as a group with others who share your same political views can help you gain greater visibility within Congress.
A successful grassroots lobbying campaign will show members of Congress how many of their constituents are interested in certain issues. This interest can help promote change by swaying congressional votes in your favor.
Why Choose a Grassroots Approach?
You may be wondering what advantages a grassroots campaign can have over traditional lobbying efforts. The answer is simple- affordability. Professional lobbyists can charge a significant amount of money. This puts direct lobbying out of the reach of many non-profit organizations and citizen action groups who have limited funding.
A grassroots approach requires very little money. You just need to reach out to constituents in your area and encourage those that share your view on important issues to join their voice with yours to get the attention of Congress.
What Are Some Examples of Grassroots Lobbying?
There are many different ways to lobby your congressperson without relying on expensive direct lobbying efforts.
You can initiate a letter writing campaign. This type of campaign encourages the public to send a letter in support of an issue to their congressperson. The receipt of many letters can let a congressperson know that the issue is important to his or her constituents.
Another popular grassroots lobbying activity is a protest. Peaceful protesting can be a great way to raise both public and congressional awareness for your issue. Many protests receive media coverage, which allows you to share a message with your congressperson through a public forum.
The best way to promote change is to get involved. Grassroots strategies let people from all walks of life lobby Congress on behalf of specific issues or interest groups. You can make your opinion know by participating in a grassroots campaign in your area.