Report Shows ‘Untapped Power’ of Constituent Advocacy

Citizens from across the country jammed the Senate phone lines in recent weeks, making their voices heard on President Donald Trump’s Cabinet appointments. But a new report suggests there are more effective ways to influence legislators.

The Congressional Management Foundation on Monday released a new report that highlights more than a decade worth of its surveys that show how citizens can make their voices heard. Their research showed that citizens who showed up in person, and are well-prepared with facts and arguments, can have a sizable impact on undecided legislators.

“Unfortunately, most Americans believe their voices don’t make a difference. This research proves that their voices do make a difference, and they can magnify their voices by using more effective advocacy techniques,” wrote the authors, Bradford Fitch and Kathy Goldschmidt of CMF, in the report.

Between August 2004 and July 2016, the foundation conducted nine surveys of congressional staff and four surveys of citizen advocates, generating more than 1,200 responses.

Their findings showed that direct interactions between lawmakers and staff can have a profound impact. In 2004, 2010, and 2015, more than 90 percent of congressional staffers said that in-person constituent visits could influence a lawmakers, especially one who is undecided on an issue.  Read Full Article…..