RADAR ALERT: Step 4: Win Friends and Influence Politians

Started by RADAR, Jul 23, 2006, 10:41 PM

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RADAR ALERT: Step 4: How to Win Friends and Influence Politicians

This is our mission: To meet with every Congressman between now and November 7 to explain how VAWA is violating civil rights and breaking up families.

Last week's Alert laid out the Talking Points for the meeting: http://www.mediaradar.org/alert20060716.php. But a successful meeting also depends on your ability to present yourself in the best possible light.

Here are a few tips how to get the Congressman or staff to become persuaded of the need to call for civil rights hearings:
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  • Wear business attire. That means a jacket and tie for men. Act in a professional manner.
  • Be courteous and friendly. Comment about some of the work the Congressman has done that you appreciate. Anything to make a connection.
  • When you start your presentation, get to the point quickly: the massive civil rights violations under VAWA.  Then work through the Talking Points. Practice your presentation in advance so it comes across smoothly.
  • Do not get argumentative or angry. This will only hurt your credibility. Try to find an area that you can agree on.
  • Do not mention your own case. The purpose of your visit is to avoid future VAWA abuses, not to resolve your personal legal issues.
  • Play to the Congressman's or staffer's interests:

    • If the person is a strong supporter of Constitutional protections, then emphasize how VAWA violates due process and civil liberties.
    • If the person believes strongly in equality, then explain how VAWA promotes sex-based discrimination.
    • If the Congressman is known to be a strong supporter of VAWA, then emphasize how VAWA addresses an important social problem, and you have suggestions to make the law better.

  • If you are asked a question that you can't answer, tell them you will get back to them later with the information.
  • At the end of the meeting, ask them what their impression is. Ask if they have any suggestions on what you should do next. Don't press your case too hard.
  • Ask if there is anything you can do for them such as getting statistics, etc. It may be as simple as keeping them updated.
  • End the meeting on a friendly, positive note.
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    Date of RADAR Release:
    July 24, 2006

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    Register now for the National Family Law Reform Conference, to be held September 15-16 in Alexandria, Virginia (near Washington, DC).  The conference will address the crisis of family law, including biased family courts, false allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, and much more. For more information: http://www.acfc.org/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=100021   

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    R.A.D.A.R. -- Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting -- is a network of concerned men and women working to assure that the problem of domestic violence is treated in a balanced and effective manner. http://www.mediaradar.org.

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