Again, I can’t believe that another week is over! The later part of this week has been especially fun because I was able to get into the offices of Senator John McCain (from my home state of Arizona), and Representative Martha Roby (from my local state of Alabama) to advocate for the AVMA. I decided to discuss with their offices the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR. 2966/S. 1176) and the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (HR. 965/S. 1211). While I think overall my meetings with both offices were favorable, I did learn some very valuable things that I’m going to have to try to remember for any future advocacy work, or even just governmental work, that I get involved in.
First, it’s extremely important to make a connection with whomever you’re talking to. This is of course obvious to anyone thinking about the logistics of lobbying, but in the moment it can be tricky. I could tell I was more successful on this point in Congresswoman Roby’s office, because my reception there was a bit warmer. I made sure to be clear about where I was coming from, why I chose to visit this particular office, and what my connection was to the AVMA, which made it easier for the woman I met with to understand where I was coming from. My meeting there was more conversational and relaxed and I think it was in part because I took extra care in the introductions.
Second, I need to SLOOOWWW DOOOWWN. I’m well aware (and my friends can back me up here) that when I get excited about something, or I’m talking on a subject I’m passionate about, I start talking a mile a minute. This of course is not conducive to an open conversation, or really even for effective note taking, neither of which helps my cause. Slowing down my pace would have encouraged more questions, allowed for more interaction, and made my points seem more substantial and thought out.
But hind sight’s 20/20 they say. Hopefully the next externs here can take away something from what I’ve learned.