How to Lobby

for normal human beings

The most direct way to express how pissed you are is to do what the big corporations do: go straight to the people in power and tell them about it. If you're nearby, go to Congress, DC Council, or a state/city legislature, and bring art and humanity into those uptight places usually filled with boring meetings and bullshit. You don't have to play their game. Bring truth, respect, and playfulness to their offices.

We experiment with new ways of lobbying (such as "Cleaning Up Congress, literally" and "bribing" through treats and desperate playfulness):

 

 

 

We're dancing at the Senate and Mitch McConnell's office on December 11th to push them to pass their version of an anti-corruption bill (HR1) that the House already passed. Send a message if you want to join!

This isn't "protest" or trying to getting arrested - that is usually about generating media attention and base-building. Though these are important goals, there is also the goal of MOVING people in power by giving them something they can't easily ignore. 

The worst that can happen is they ask you to leave. The Capitol Police are not normal police and have different rules - they give three warnings before arresting.

 

There are rules/restrictions on what you can do there (and you do have to go through security), but as long as you say you are "Lobbying" and not trying to get arrested, they'll just be confused and shrug.

Some Rules for Different Places of Power:

Congress

  1. You do not need to wear a suit or have a reason/scheduled meeting to get into Congressional office buildings (House: Rayburn, Longworth, Cannon. Senate: Hart, Russell, Dirksen - see map below). This is where the real legislating and lobbying happens, not the big Capitol dome building.

  2. Silliness and art are ok - do weird stuff safely by calling l it "lobbying".

  3. The person filming should not go inside the actual office unless they get permission from the staff. If not, you can film through the open door (someone else might keep it open for the camera to be able to see). 

  4. You will probably be interacting with unpaid interns or low-level staffers. They are not bad people, even if they are working for real shitbags. Keep it respectful, even if you gotta get real or serious at times.

  5. They will ask you for "materials" or business cards that explain what you're talking about to leave with the real staffer who handles the issue you are lobbying about. Have materials, but first try to talk to and connect with them as people.

  6. If they are acting negative or don't want to film, keep it brief. Do not push the subject or over-intrude, move on to your main point and leave the stuff.

  7. They really love business cards, you can get the card for the staffer who handles the relevant issue or committee and follow-up with them over email. This would be to set up a more organized, sit-down meeting.

  8. You can always keep emailing them every week or two if you really want the meeting. They will either ignore it or thank you for your persistence.

DC Council

  1. DC has a legislature too! These folks are actually supposed to listen to us, unlike our knucklehead neighbors in Congress who maintain our second-class citizenship.

  2. There are 13 DC Councilmembers and they pass laws similar to most state legislatures, but unicameral (there is just one house of the legislature, not a Senate and a House). Our Council has:

    1. 8 members that represent individual Wards (see map below)

    2. 4 At-Large Members

    3. 1 At-Large Chairman who runs

  3. We also elect a mayor, an attorney general, a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives, a Board of Education (8 ward members, 1 at-large member), a "Shadow" delegation of two Senators and one Rep who are supposed to help us get statehood but are unpaid so they mostly justify their existence, and many hyper-local representatives called Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANCs). Each Ward has a few different ANC Commissions that represent a subset of the Ward and each Commission has between 2 and 12 Commissioners who each represent a very small Single Member District (SMD) within the ANC area.

Other States/Cities

Do you live in a real state and want to get involved or start doing some creative advocacy and playful lobbying in your state? We'd love to have you on board!

We're starting in DC for now - transforming the system locally and nationally at the same time, but send us a note and we can talk about how to set up a chapter where you live

Washington, DC

©2019 Filiblaster LLC