Topic outline

  • Introduction: What to Know Before You Go!



    Make Your Voice Heard in D.C.

    Communities across our nation are experiencing the devastating impacts of global climate change, including more frequent and severe weather events and other natural disasters. Coastal communities and under-served communities continue to be the most vulnerable to the destructive impacts of these events. Landscape architects—who lead in the stewardship of our natural environments and excel at community engagement—have the education, training, skills, and experience to assist all communities in recovery efforts following natural or human-caused disasters, and to help make communities more resilient to future events.

     Now is the time for landscape architects to educate policy makers on how the profession is creating resilient solutions for every community.  From using natural materials to address shoreline erosion and flooding, to designing green infrastructure projects to address stormwater management, to ensuring environmental justice and safety for all communities, landscape architects are on the frontlines providing critical community services.

     Members of Congress want to hear from experts like you.

     When landscape architects visit Capitol Hill, they 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 2018 Advocacy Day Site


      The Best Place to Start!

      Here you'll find 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

        ASLA’s Government Affairs team will have up-to-the-minute policy details for the event. Prepare by taking a look at the policy papers on the Learning the Issues page. Then look below 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.

           Want the latest news? Watch ASLA's April 12th, 2018 policy webinar for details on the state of play for our issues in Washington, DC
        • Who You're Talking To: Understanding Your Audience


          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