Grassroots Approach to Legislation


Grassroots is the cheapest, and potentially the most effective way to lobby the State Legislature. But it also puts the most demands of any method, on its Organization in terms of energy.

Do you tell your friends and family why you believe in freedom of choice?

The Grassroots theory is supposed to work like this, the State Legislative Officer gives a directive to the District Legislative Officers, who pass it on to the Chapter Legislative Officers, who pass it on to as many chapter members as possible, as fast as possible. This can be done through meetings, phone calls and mailings.

Each member then can pass it on again to brothers, sisters, parents, neighbors, friends, workmates, etc... A meeting with 20 people should be able to generate 100 letters, phone calls, or faxes. This is the spreading roots of Grass-Roots.

If the directive is a letter to their local legislator, care must be taken to make sure that all letters sent are accurate, meaning that the right Bill number in the right place. In other words, make sure that members know which legislator (Assemblyman or Senator) should be getting info on the Bill.

Would your co-workers lobby for motorcycle issues? If you don't know, maybe you need to talk to them.

These letters are the actual blades of grass, and show that even though there may not be enough concerned motorcyclists to bolster your agenda, the local Senator or Assemblyman will know there is real support in their district for your point of view. Never threaten a Legislator with your voting power, always be polite.

The State Legislative Coordinator or lobbyist is far less effective when he walks into a Legislator's office in the Legislative Office building in Albany if the people from ABATE in their Assembly or Senate District have not gotten their information or point of view to them before hand. It is a good practice to keep a line of information flowing to your legislators on a regular basis.