League of Women Voters holds citizen-advocacy training workshop

Responding to the recent surge in citizen political engagement, the League of Women Voters of Greenwich is hosting a workshop for those in the community who want to sharpen their legislative advocacy skills on Sunday, April 30, from 1:30-4:30 p.m., in the Town Hall Meeting Room, Greenwich Town Hall.

Titled “Advocacy 101,” the training session will be run by Judith Blei Government Relations, a public interest lobbying firm with nearly thirty years of experience in Hartford. The firm has conducted training sessions on legislative advocacy in Washington, D.C., Massachusetts and all over the State of Connecticut, including at the highly respected Yale Campaign School.

According to Deirdre Kamlani, League Board and Program Committee member, “We have seen a noticeable uptick in political engagement and grassroots advocacy over the past several months, and the League wanted to make sure that anyone looking to get more involved had the skills necessary to be as effective as possible. And, while the program has a Hartford focus, most of the skills being taught will be transferable to advocacy at the local and national levels too.”

The session will be a combination of lecture and role-play, with participants learning how bills move through the legislative process in Hartford and how advocates can increase their chances of success every step of the way, both through the arguments they make and the strategies and tactics they use. To be as relevant as possible, the role-play will use an actual bill before the legislature this session, and the Greenwich Town Hall Meeting Room will be converted into a legislative hearing room presided over by two elected officials: Rep. Fred Camillo and Rep. William Tong.

“Having the active participation of two sitting legislators will make the experience even more valuable to the workshop participants, and we are extremely grateful to Representatives Camillo and Tong for generously sharing their time and expertise with us,” noted Alex Bergstein, League member and event sponsor. “Receiving feedback from legislators in this safe and informal venue will not only help de-mystify the process for the participants, but also make us more effective advocates going forward. And, it’ll be fun!”

The League believes that this could be the first in a series of training events that respond to the increase in civic involvement in Connecticut and across the nation. “This valuable training is a natural extension of the League’s mission to provide educational programming with a public policy focus. We will encourage attendees to share their priorities for future skills-based programs, which could include grassroots organizing, advanced advocacy, campaign management, and even guidance on running for office,” said Jill Oberlander, League board member and Program Co-Chair.

Admission is free but registration is required, and only those who have pre-registered will be admitted. To attend, email [email protected]

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