2020 Advocacy Opportunities
Be a part of AALL’s advocacy efforts in 2020 by influencing lawmakers to find policy solutions to legal information problems and elevate AALL’s legislative priorities. By participating in these suggested advocacy activities each month, you’ll position yourself to build rewarding, trusted relationships with lawmakers that will result in meaningful legislative change for law libraries.
Please contact Emily Feltren, AALL’s director of government relations, with any questions or for assistance with your advocacy efforts.
The new year provides an opportunity to focus on AALL’s legislative priorities, particularly in the House of Representatives. Join the AALL Advocates Community to receive weekly information policy updates from the Government Relations Committee and bookmark AALL’s Legislative Action Center to take action on the Association’s top legislative issues, including greater access to federal court records through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system.
As the budget process for Fiscal Year 2021 kicks off, write to Congress in support of full funding for the Government Publishing Office and Library of Congress. If your library is a member of the Federal Depository Library Program, use AALL’s Legislative Action Center to tell your members of Congress how the program helps their constituents.
Lawmakers return to their states and districts for two weeks in April. Now is a good time to request in-district meetings with your members of Congress. Coordinate meetings with a few colleagues and your local AALL chapter. Follow AALL’s instructions for setting up successful meetings with your members of Congress.
Take part in AALL’s Virtual Lobby Day, when AALL members around the country send a strong message to Capitol Hill in support of law libraries and legal information. (Virtual Lobby Day may be held in March or April depending on the Congressional calendar.)
Attend the district meeting(s) you scheduled in March. Review AALL’s advocacy one-pagers for talking points and let us know how your meetings go. If no meetings were scheduled, invite your members of Congress to visit your library while Congress is out for several weeks in May. Consider tying your event to Law Day on May 1.
If applicable, host your member(s) of Congress at your library. Invite local media, and promote the event on your social networking channels.
With the year at its midway point and the House and Senate scheduled to be in session for the entire month, now is a good time to voice your opinion on legal information issues before Congress. See AALL’s Legislative Action Center for priority issues, talking points, and sample messages.
If you are attending AALL’s Annual Meeting, be sure to join us at AALL Public Policy Update (B2) and the Advocacy Leadership Training (C8) on Sunday, July 12, 2020 to learn about upcoming issues on AALL’s legislative agenda and how you can help.
Congress takes its summer recess this month. Subscribe to your legislators’ email lists and follow them on social media to receive notice of constituent breakfasts, town hall meetings, and other public events with your members of Congress. Attend a meeting and ask about their support for law libraries.
This month offers one of the last opportunities this year to contact your members of Congress on AALL’s legislative priorities. After September, members of the House and Senate are scheduled to return home to their states and districts to campaign through the November election. Use AALL’s Legislative Action Center to send a personalized thank you note to your members of Congress who have supported AALL’s legislative priorities (you can check their voting history on the Legislative Action Center). A message on social media is also useful to bring attention to law library issues. Be sure to tag your lawmakers for maximum impact.
With the November elections approaching, spend some time getting to know the candidates. Learn about the educational background, previous careers, and policy interests of any candidates running for a seat in the House or Senate. Doing this research now will give you a leg up in getting your issues heard because you’ll know how to frame your talking points and elevator pitches.
It’s election time! No matter the results, be prepared to introduce yourself to any newly elected members in the new year. Draft an email that you can send to your new members once the 117th Congress begins in January.
Check your email for any last action alerts from AALL, and then get ready for a new year of legislative advocacy in 2021!