My First Time Being a Lobbyist

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

I remember the first time I went in to speak to one of my representatives.

I was young and very nervous, feeling very unimportant, after all here was this very important person, people voted for and no one knew me.

Fortunately, my California state assemblymember was VERY nice and patient with me. I fumbled my presentation very badly, had to start over in a few places. Overall, it was a horrible job of presenting my information. Luckily they waited for me, let me start over and then asked me questions when I seemed to freeze.

They took notes as I went, and from what I could see of them they were tracking with what I was saying and seemed to truly understand why I felt the issue I was coming to speak to them about was important.

Overall, it was actually great and one of the assemblymember's staff even sent me a follow-up email about one of things we had talked about a few days later.

We went on to work together on some projects at the local area schools which all went very well and everyone was pleased with the project.

Since that time I have had more meetings than I can count on various issues, either for myself or attending with another to coach and/or reassure them.

This is to say, you don't have to be a perfectly sleek professional to start working on issues that matter to you. Almost all government officials, those people elected to represent you, want to hear from the people in their area. Almost all of them want to have projects and activities happening in their communities which will improve them.

Will more happen with greater speed the more professional you are and your presentation, probably, but never let that hold you back from starting. Perfection will come with time and practice.

I was lucky that the first person I meet with turned out to be a kind and understanding person. I have since meet with others that weren't as kind.

Though, saying that, the VAST majority have been very patient with me, listening, asking questions and taking good notes. I have rarely left a meeting with any government official feeling nothing was gained. I suppose I will write about one of those times I felt was a waste at a future date, but I want to make sure not to leave an impression that they don't listen.

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