Unite to Fight!

Activism - Focus: Legislation

There are many online tools that make it quick and easy to become politically active for wildlife conservation and defense! Why would we want to become politically active when conserving wildlife is an issue best governed by sound science? Because - sadly and to our detriment - all issues that involve the greed of a few putting everyone's future at risk are decided by the 'store-bought' politicians that we voters put in office to make laws and regulations! Let's not believe that our favorite elected leaders are above the influence of those with power and wealth. All legislators are lobbied by special interest groups whose job is to convince them to sponsor and support bills that benefit the powerful. Maybe our favorite politician is above taking a clear and outright bribe, but s/he may still be swayed by carefully assembled propaganda.
Lobbying (also 'to lobby') is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in a government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies.

There are more than 50 versions of lobbying laws in states and territories. Yet, all states share a basic definition of lobbying as an attempt to influence government action. Written and oral communications are both recognized as lobbying. Three states (Delaware, Kansas, and Texas) include in their definitions of lobbying providing entertainment, gifts, recreational events, food and beverages to legislators. The remaining states regulate the disclosure of and the amounts spent on such activities.

The definition of who is a lobbyist usually revolves around compensation. Most states define a lobbyist as someone who receives any amount of compensation or reimbursement to lobby. Among the exceptions are Hawaii, Minnesota and New York. These states stipulate threshold amounts of money and time spent on lobbying, and, if these thresholds are reached, an individual becomes a lobbyist.

Example from Colorado

LOBBYING means communicating directly, or soliciting others to communicate, with a covered official for the purpose of aiding in or influencing:

  • (I) The drafting, introduction, sponsorship, consideration, debate, amendment, passage, defeat, approval, or veto by any covered official on:
    • (A) Any bill, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, or report, whether or not in writing, pending or proposed for consideration by either house of the general assembly or committee thereof, whether or not the general assembly is in session;
    • (B) Any other matter pending or proposed in writing by any covered official for consideration by either house of the general assembly or a committee thereof, whether or not the general assembly is in session... Read more...

Where to begin?

There are many online tools available that make tracking legislation and contacting your legislators as easy as 1, 2, 3.


GovTrack Option

If you do not already have a free account, create a login here:

Additional walk-through steps pending...





"How States Define Lobbying and Lobbyist." How States Define Lobbying and Lobbyist. Web. 03 June 2016. <http://www.ncsl.org/research/ethics/50-state-chart-lobby-definitions.aspx>.