This is a message from director and ballot measure co-chair Kirstin Beatty:
I have several concerns.
One, I am worried that Last Tree Laws will not be successful organizing because of technology issues, and so ask that you keep checking this page as kinks are fixed and info provided on newsletter, measure, lobbying. If you do email, please also send your phone number and maybe one or the other will work.
Secondly, I’m worried that last year a well-known advocate pushed bills without being transparent about the content: one was a bill for 5G, for example, but was promoted as against 5G. I’m concerned this advocate may again fail to make problems of some bills clear and promote those bills without caveat, while dismissing our bills as occurred last year.
Please be careful about the bills you support. Please check back here on lobbying for our preferred legislation and for information critical of other bills.
Thirdly, we need active popular direct support, not only for a ballot measure but to help stymie dismissal or mischaracterization of our legislation. Industry has critiqued and will critique the bills, but so will others who fail to accept change is possible. Even without naysayers, I do not think any other public figure or organization will actively share the bills I prepared or actively promote the concepts.
Our funds are also minimal. There isn’t a business model here, business promotions, nor trickle-down economics – maybe that needs to change. Please make a donation to our ballot measure committee.
Here are a few lobbying tips — a version will be posted on the Local page as well:
- Speak to Legislators 1-to-1. Speaking privately one-to-one with your personal legislators appears more helpful to being heard – we know first-hand some legislators do not read emails due to the number incoming! If you cannot speak well, then bring writings and bring a group of constituents to help. Take the time to truly educate one or two legislators, since public hearings often limit speaking time to 3 minutes per person and can be disjointed.
- Support ideas first, secondly support bills that support those ideas. Avoid signing on in favor of “great” bills that can be changed later anyway, behind closed doors, and stick instead to signing on in support of explicitly stated concrete ideas.
- Problem guidance. When signing onto shared testimony or using templates, be careful. Some advocates continue to highlight problem bills as solutions. See this blog post on bad bills for more – one day it will hopefully be updated or a new one prepared.
- Behind closed doors. If a spokesperson speaks on behalf of the group behind closed doors, what is being said? If mass emails are sent, does the group have input and how many can verify what was actually sent? Remember, diverging emails may be sent on the same topic to different groups.
- Co-opting brand & advocacy. Does the spokesperson represent you or him/herself, i.e. using the group to advance sales, donations, different aims, control, his/her name, etc.? Does the spokesperson promote the status quo and prevent the rise of new ideas or opinions? Does the spokesperson speak as if for everyone, rather than recognizing and admitting differences? Does the spokesperson take credit for everything, or give credit where it is due before being asked to do so?
- Collaboration. Does the group or organization focus on the goals, and encourage collaboration, even connections between members and set aside personal gain to work with outsiders? Last Tree Laws needs support and volunteers. Real support, not people taking credit for our work and offering nothing in return. I have shared events of other groups and stopped for now due to lack of (a) time, and (b) for some, lack of fair, sincere quid pro quo and support. I believe in team work, but not at our expense or that of others.
- Recognition. Many people work on these issues for free and work hard – failure to provide generous recognition and support increases the pain of doing so and pushes away volunteers.