Alabama Arise advocacy training workshop notes

On Monday, January 29th Rob and I attended an Alabama Arise advocacy training workshop. Alabama Arise is a statewide, member-led organization advancing public policies to improve the lives of Alabamians who are marginalized by poverty. 

Their 2024 priorities:

  • Untaxing groceries
  • Medicaid expansion
  • Voting rights
  • Criminal justice reform
  • Maternal and infant health
  • Public transportation
  • Death penalty reform

I encourage you to attend Alabama Arise’s Action Briefing: Preparing for the 2024 Legislative Session on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024 from 6 – 7:15 p.m. Also, April 2 is Alabama Arise Lobby Day. They’ll be heading to the State House in Montgomery to speak with the legislature about their priorities for 2024.

Below are some slides and photos of handouts from the presentation along with my notes:

In the 2022 election, 61.5% of Alabamians didn’t participate. Just 26% of Alabama voters chose Kay Ivey. 

In Alabama, a simple majority can override the Governor’s veto. Caveat: Pocket veto – Any bill the state legislature passes in the last 10 days of session, the Governor must sign within 5 days or it dies. 

Activists have the most influence:

  • Before a legislator introduces a bill
  • When a bill is:
    • In committee (When a bill is in committee, you have the most influence if your rep is on that committee)
    • Being debated on the floor
    • Awaiting the Governor’s signature 

Before a legislator introduces a bill, focus on high-quality, low-quantity. Take some time to craft a compelling message. Focus on one or two phone calls and emails. 

When a bill is in committee/debated on the floor/awaiting the Governor’s signature, you want to prioritize quantity over quality. Make as many phone calls, emails, social media call-outs, letters to the editor, press conferences, petitions, protests, rallies, forums, boycotts, strikes, snail mail/postcards (post to social media before sending) as possible. 

Win friends and influence people to get your shit done. 

Try power mapping: Identify the levers you need to pull and relationships you need to create and maintain in order to gain the access and influence you need to make change. 

Invite your legislators to speak at your community or church group. 

Alabama Legislative services will offer estimates of costs for all proposed bills.