Topic outline

  • Introduction: What to Know Before You Go!









                      



              

    Make Your Voice Heard in D.C.

    A new administration signals new ideas in Washington, D.C., and on Capitol Hill. This is the ideal time for our elected officials to understand the top policy issues affecting our profession and the U.S. economy.

    Now is the time for landscape architects to educate policy makers on how the profession is leading community infrastructure design and development in neighborhoods across the country. From upgrading to a multimodal transportation network, to fixing our nation’s water management systems, to recognizing public lands and parks as critical infrastructure—landscape architects are restoring today’s crumbling infrastructure and creating tomorrow’s resilient systems.

    Members of Congress want to hear from experts like you.

    When we visit Capitol Hill together, we will make a difference--and this course will show you how! Each section includes a four to five minute video as well as optional readings and other resources. Get ready to go forth and advocate!




    About Your Instructor

    Stephanie Vance is a 25-year "veteran" of Washington, DC. She's worked as a Congressional Chief of Staff, Lobbyist and Grassroots Consultant. Here she shares insights on the importance of citizen advocacy.
                   
    • Where to Get Started: ASLA's 2017 Advocacy Day Site




      The Best Place to Start!

      Here you'll get information on the schedule, policy issues, and more!



      • Welcome to DC! Some Frequently Asked Questions


        This module covers the basics of what to expect during your time on Capitol Hill -- the layout of the Capitol "Campus," what security is like, where the bathrooms are, etc. Meeting with legislators and their staff is the number one way to influence policymakers. Let's get you started on the right path!          

        Your App Schedule & Functions

         
         

        Basic App How-Tos


      • What You Want: Making the Ask



         
                     
        Your  policy team will have up-to-the-minute policy details for the event. Prepare by taking a look at the policy papers on the policy page, or reviewing them in the resources below.

        Then move on for more information on translating that policy knowledge into compelling messages.


        Four Keys Overview


        There are four keys to effective advocacy. Start here for the overview. Then we'll look at each one.
             

        People in the sales world know that the number one reason you don't make a sale is because you didn't ask for it. In DC, you're selling an idea, and the number one reason elected officials don't get on board is because people don't ask.

             
      • Who You're Talking To: Understanding Your Audience



        ABOUT LEGISLATORS


                      
        To be most effective, you'll want to know a little something about the people you're talking to. In this section, you'll learn about understanding your legislator, and their all important staff.

        ABOUT STAFF


        Note that all your research into the legislator's policy and political interests apply to the staff as well. They're there to represent their boss, so what's of interest to the boss will be of interest to them as well.

        The main difference in talking to them is pronouns. Instead of saying: will you cosponsor this bill?" (for example), you'd say "will the Congressman or woman cosponsor this bill?"
      • How to Talk to Them - Developing Your Story


                    
        Your job is to tie the strange things that happen in Washington, DC back to the district, and you do that through effective stories. Use the following materials to create yours!
        Now tie all of that into a strong message with the message formula.


        • How to Follow Up - Building Relationships


                     
          Your trip to DC doesn't stop here! Long term relationships are essential to winning your policy issue