Residents will learn how to lobby at workshop |

Residents will learn how to lobby at workshop

Karl Horeis, Appeal Staff Writer

A “Lobbying for Results” workshop is planned for Jan. 25 , just in time for Nevada residents to learn the basics of how a bill becomes law and how to lobby before the Legislature gets under way in February.

The workshop is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

“What this workshop does is give people the information they need to lobby the Legislature effectively and make a difference,” said Abby Johnson, a workshop coordinator with the League of Women Voters.

Lobbying for Results will be an all-day event held in a Nevada Sate Library conference room. It starts at 9 a.m. with a presentation by Jan Gilbert, PLAN lobbyist. Gilbert will go over the basics — or what Johnson described as the “why bother.”

The day will continue with lobbying tips by a panel of speakers including Sen. Mark Amodei, former Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, attorney and lobbyist Bob Crowell, Gilbert from PLAN, Rosemary McCarthy of the Reynolds School of Journalism at UNR and Mary Bennington, a past president of the Douglas County School Board.

Topics covered will include writing testimony and how to testify in front of the Legislature, how committees function, bill watching and using the Internet to stay informed.

“Then we’ll do the role-playing, which was so popular two years ago,” said Johnson.

That gives lobbyists in training a chance to interact with legislators.

Nevada is different from many states because residents and lobbyists in the Silver State have greater access to legislators themselves, rather than having to go through aides.

That might mean meeting them on a more casual level, like walking them to their office after daily proceedings, according to Johnson.

“They really expect to be communicated with almost all the time because they are so scheduled,” she said.

Toward the end of the workshop after a lunch break, Joyce Cox of the State Library will speak, along with Andy Harvey, Webmaster for the Legislature. The two will discuss using the Internet and telephone services to stay informed.

The library offers a telephone hot line which enables citizens to ask question about bills and the Legislature has a message center where messages can be left for lawmakers.

There are 70 people already registered for the workshop, which has a capacity of 80. Tickets cost $30 in advance or $35 at the door.

Participants will have the option to tour the Legislature Building at the close of the event.

For information on the Lobbying for Results workshop, call: 882-8883