How to meet with a lawmaker

Posted on March 15, 2017

[This is the fourth in a series of columns about best practices for state and local advocacy groups. The first three are about proactive legislation, a Resolution strategy, and a 6-step multi-year advocacy program.]...


A Long-Term Advocacy Strategy That Works

Posted on February 28, 2017

[This column is related to the last one that laid out a “Resolution Strategy” for policy organizing. This digs deeper into the six-part program for advocacy described by Michael Pertschuk in The DeMarco Factor:...


A Resolution Strategy for Policy Advocates

Posted on February 15, 2017

Passing legislation is mostly about politics rather than policy. Progressives can have the greatest idea, backed up by a mountain of reports and an army of experts, and get nowhere near enacting it. At...


Six reasons why advocates should champion proactive legislation

Posted on February 1, 2017

Generally, state legislators are happy to introduce bills that have little or no chance of enactment. City and county lawmakers also introduce such legislation, but with a little more caution depending on the customs...


Ten Simple Rules for Policy Advocates

Posted on January 19, 2017

Dear lawmakers—We are creating new resources for advocates at the state and local levels. We’d appreciate your suggestions for improving our advice. PLEASE send any edits or additions to Thanks! State and local...


Now is your time and your opportunity to lead

Posted on January 4, 2017

Our nation just survived one of the most unusual, divisive presidential campaigns in our history. The election of Donald Trump is, without doubt, one of the most significant political events of our time. Yet,...


Five bills to help you fight the Radical Right

Posted on December 20, 2016

We are counting down the days to some of the most horrific political battles in American history. All of us need to do our part. At the federal level, we will see attacks from...


Get ready to fight school vouchers

Posted on December 8, 2016

The issue of school vouchers has seemed dead—or at least asleep—for the past several years. But this vampire is waking up! U.S. Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos has been a major advocate for...


Messaging Lesson of the 2016 Election

Posted on November 22, 2016

When I worked as a campaign consultant, I found that most people only learn by losing an election. After a victory, people think they’ve mastered the craft and have nothing new to learn. In...


Americans overwhelmingly support abortion rights

Posted on October 26, 2016

Political candidates, consultants and the media generally misunderstand the politics of abortion rights. They tend to believe either that most voters oppose abortion or that the anti-abortion base is larger than the abortion rights...