GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2020 - 14

Business & Community
Advocacy

Advocating W
Success

hen it comes to advocating, how do you measure success?
It's very rarely a linear exercise or X + Y = Z and that can
scare people off. Success can be measured by sending
an email in support of a topic to having a bill signed into law. Each
way of engaging in advocacy is impactful and you don't need to be
someone who lives and breathes government to be successful. If you
follow a few simple rules, you will be ready to dip your toes into the
world of advocacy.

By Katie Hetherington Cunfer,
Director of Government and
Community Relations

1. Just Do It!
Honestly, the first and hardest step for the majority of people is to
even do anything. Too many times we hear people utter the phrase,
"I don't like politics," or "Politics are ugly," but politics and advocacy
aren't synonyms. Politics are the ideological divide in our multiparty
system of government, while advocacy is engaging in a persuasive
discussion about your beliefs, needs and principles. Like a tree that
falls in the woods, if you have an opinion but you never shared it
with your elected official, did it even count? The honest answer to
that question is NO!
Legislators are elected to represent their constituents and their
main goal is to cast votes that reflect the majority of their district.
The only way they can truly know that is through communication
they receive from their constituents through calls, letters, emails,
events, surveys, etc. The rule of thumb is for every one person who
voices an opinion on a subject, that typically reflects around 1,000
others in the district who feel the same way but never speak up. These
contacts are tracked by the legislative staff to help frame a position
on an issue and you should expect a response to your position, no
matter what they decide.
Also, be aware that there are always people on the other side of
your issue and they aren't afraid to make their opinions and positions
known. If you aren't engaged and sharing your opinion or position,
you've ceded the argument to your opposition, just by being silent.

2. Golden Rule
This one really should be self-explanatory, but in today's crazy world,
it's worth repeating. We can always agree to disagree, but if you lose
your civility, you also lose your credibility. Be respectful and be polite.
The staff person you treat nicely but disagree with today may be the
one who reaches out to get your opinion on another subject tomorrow.

14  COMMERCE QUARTERLY FALL 2020



GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2020

GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2020 - 1
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2020 - 2
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2020 - 3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com