Lobbying on a Shoestring

A must for lobbyists

186 pages in 1 volume (ebook)
4th Edition 2018
© 2018 MLRI & MCLE, Inc.
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Product Description

Lobbying on a Shoestring offers a common-sense, practical approach to political action. Premised on the idea that real people should have a real impact on the development of public policy, this powerhouse of a paperback conveys truths about the legislative process and hard-won, strategic insights. The 2018 Revised Edition gets you and your clients up and running to mobilize groups, assess the opposition, develop allies, and deploy media channels for real community change.

Here's what people are saying about the newly-released 2018 edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring, by Judith C. Meredith and Margaret E. Monsell:

“Lobbying is hard. Lobbying on a Shoestring makes it a little easier. Written in plain language that even community organizers can understand, this guide is invaluable when considering a legislative campaign. You are going to need energy, patience, perseverance, resources—and this book!”    –Thomas Callahan, Executive Director, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance

“Judy Meredith is a superb advocate who knows the Legislature inside out, which is a good thing because that how it's conducted most of the time.”    –Barney Frank, US Congressman

Lobbying on a Shoestring is a smart, comprehensive step-by- step guide to winning legislation. Its description of the legislative process... is masterful. A must-read for anyone interested in promoting and passing public policy.”    –Sandy Felder, Labor Consultant, Past President SEIU 509, Past AFL-CIO National Field Director

“There's power, mystery, and myth at the State House, where laws are passed or killed and budget needs can be met or ignored. Lobbying on a Shoestring cuts through the mystery. It gives you a step-by-step strategy and research plan for your own campaign on bills and budget issues. It helps you organize your power to engage legislators in doing what's needed for their districts... Your commitment, plus your organization, plus the advice in this book, equals a path toward justice.”    –Lewis Finfer, Co-Director, Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN)

Recent updates:

  • Update: August 2018

    This fourth edition represents the latest revision of Lobbying on a Shoestring, which was originally authored by Judith C. Meredith and Linda Myer and published by the Massachusetts Poverty Law Center in 1982. Lobbying originally grew out of a handbook written in 1979 for participants in a legislative advocacy training conference presented by Terrance McLarney, Rochelle Lefkowitz, Robert Shaffer, Kathleen O'Grady, Robert James, Arlene Sen, Mary Kay Leonard, Maureen Holland, and others.

    This edition includes some material on the media (in chapter 9 and the appendix) written originally by Linda Myer, as well as new material and concepts from Real Clout and the Real Clout Workbook. The appendix also features some material that was originally written by Allan Rodgers and Tony Winsor of Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. The authors thank Georgia Katsoulomitis, current executive director at MLRI, for her thoughtful contributions to chapter 9.

    Real Clout: A How-To Manual for Community Activists Trying to Expand Healthcare Access by Changing Public Policy was authored by Judith C. Meredith and Catherine Dunham and published in 1994 by the Access Project and the Public Policy Institute. Real Clout was based on the premise that real people should have a real impact on health-care reform, starting with the expansion of access to care for those who needed it. It was based on the belief that involvement in the public policy process was good for community leaders.

    The Real Clout Workbook, published by the Public Policy Institute in 2003, was authored by Judith C. Meredith with the support of Cathy Dunham, Suejeanne Koh, and Jennifer Kennedy, each of whom developed and wrote sections of the workbook and provided extensive editing, design, and layout support.

    The Power Prism® Advocacy Framework material included in this fourth edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring was developed by Lori Fresina and Judy Meredith to capture the campaign model used by the Alliance for a Healthy New England, a campaign initiated in 2000 by Community Catalyst, the New England division of the American Cancer Society, and the Council of New England State Medical Societies. The reader is permitted to reproduce, cite, or quote from that publication provided that appropriate credit be given.

    The premise of Lobbying on a Shoestring is the conviction that real people should have a real impact on the development of public policy, and the belief that involvement in the public policy process is good for our nation.


    Judith C. Meredith and Margaret E. Monsell

Table of Contents

expand all | collapse all
Chapter 1 - Introduction (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 2 - Laying the Groundwork for a Successful Campaign (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 3 - Life in the Legislative Arena (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 4 - Drafting and Filing the Bill (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 5 - Committees and Committee Meetings (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 6 - Floor Action (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 7 - The Governor (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 8 - The Committees on Ways and Means and the State Budget (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 9 - Using the Media in a Public Policy Campaign (Buy Chapter)
Chapter 10 - Implementation Blues (Buy Chapter)
Appendix - Lobbying—Some Legal Considerations (Buy Chapter)


Judith C. Meredith, Meredith and Associates, Dorchester
Margaret E. Monsell, Esq., Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Boston



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