Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Make e-champions out of your legislators

The third lesson in cyberlegislation that I shared was to make e-champions out of your legislators. This requires a lot of trust and hardword to make it work.

When lobbying for the E-Commerce Law, I remember that a lot of us in the industry were so focused on talking to an IT-savvy legislator. Later on, we realized that he is not chairman of the committee that has the power to calendar and prioritize the tackling of our proposed bill. As a result, a change of strategy was made. This includes:
  • Approach all legislators, through their staff and committee persons (if they are chairman), and discuss the significance of their filed legislation.
  • Offer to do briefings for them and their staff to get at the knowledge level they desired. This includes going to their office at their free time just to talk to them.
  • Get them invited in various IT and business events to talk about our desired legislation. Make them realize that this it is indeed important, that there's clamor for it, and their role importance as well. It is like saying, "We need a champion and we hope that you could take that role."
  • Do exhibits/forums under their committee in Congress or Senate just to get the support of fellow legislators.
  • Give them monthly or quarterly quick briefing on what is happening to nearby countries, comparable to our home country, just to show how we compare or being put to a disadvantage, for not having the law in place. This includes just showing up and sharing a news tidbit.
  • A legislator only takes a bill and lobbying efforts seriously if they can feel that you are indeed reliable when the time comes. This includes participating in public and technical working group hearings, do back-staff and research work, helping in writing up reports, and more importantly, provide answer inputs during floor deliberations and speaking events (as necessary).

These are just some of what we've done but there could be more. In the end, it is all about appealing to the legislators about a bill or law's importance to a greater benefit. Not to forget, their personal advantage and accomplishment as well if done.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this bulls eye hit for participatory governance using the internet.

    Best wishes!