This is the final Lobby Day guest post by blogger and Wellspring Living advocate, Emily Laney. 

Lobby Day is THIS Thursday! Now is the time to make final preparations so you can be confident when it comes time to talk to your elected officials. We’ve gone over a lot of information over the past couple months, so I want to take this last post and summarize the key points of becoming a Lobbyist for our girls in Georgia. Before next Thursday, make sure you:

1. Register for Lobby day. You can register with Street GRACE here. They really need you to register before the day of if at all possible. Lobby Day is free, but the optional lunch afterwards costs $15.  And speaking of registration, if you aren’t registered to vote in your current district, make sure you do that before Lobby Day.

2. Know your elected officials. Look them up and find out who represents you. Find a picture of them so you know what they look like on the day of. Make sure you know your district numbers and have a general idea of your elected officials’ priorities and interests.

3. Let them know you’re coming. If you haven’t already, send your elected officials an email to let them know that you, their constituent, are coming to the Capitol next week. You can even email them the Lobby Day schedule and ask to set up a meeting while you are there.

4. Do your homework. Become familiar with the proposed legislation we are going to lobby for. Street GRACE has released information about several proposed bills that we will collectively encourage our elected officials to support. They are:

  • Legislation that requires the posting of the National Human Trafficking Hotline number in bars, hotels, and venues where it’s likely that a human trafficking victim can access information for rescue and safe refuge.
  • Legislation following up on last year’s expungement bill, which includes the sealing of records for juveniles charged with prostitution.
  • A resolution urging the Congress of the United States to pass legislation increasing criminal penalties for offenders involved in illegal human trafficking and to provide greater assistance to the women and children who are victims of these heinous crimes; and for other purposes. (Source: Street GRACE)

Make sure you read up on these bills and understand why you personally support them. I don’t have space to explain each of them in detail, but if you are curious about specific proposed laws, please let me know and I’d be happy to send you more information. And, in addition to researching and being aware of the specific bills, make sure you have some general facts and figures about human trafficking in Georgia and around the world. Some of your elected officials will be very familiar with the issue, but others will be completely unaware. It’s our job as constituents to make sure the people who represent us are doing just that.

5. Have fun! Lobby Day is a great time to connect with other advocates who are passionate about the same things that you are. The room will be full of men and women working together to literally save lives. It’s also incredibly rewarding to play a part in making a difference in Georgia. It takes grassroots efforts to impact change, and your participation in Lobby Day will allow us to collectively make an impact for some of our most vulnerable residents.

See you at Lobby Day!