Lobby Day | Tips of the Trade
The Legislative Building is located at 16 W. Jones Street and is known as the Legislative Building (LB on the schedule). It has entrances both on Jones Street and on the Halifax Mall opposite Jones Street. Members of the public may enter on either side, but please be aware that there is a security checkpoint which may slow your entry into the building. The building is a large square with offices located in each of four identical courts numbered 1000, 1100, 1200, and 1300. Additional offices are located on the second floor, which is also broken up into courts numbered 2000, 2100, 2200, and 2300.
The Legislative Office Building is located at 300 N. Salisbury Street known as the Legislative Office Building (LOB on the schedule), adjacent to the Legislative Building with the entrance on the Halifax Mall. There is no security line for this building. The Halifax entrance brings you into the building on the third floor and elevators are available to reach offices throughout the building.
When it is time for your meeting, be punctual and be patient. Schedules tend to be very fluid, and because of changing schedules, it is not uncommon for a member of the General Assembly to be late or to have a meeting interrupted. If the member is unavailable for the scheduled appointment, ask to have your meeting with the Legislative Aide. Remember, staffers influence their bosses’ thinking on many issues, so those meetings can be just as important as a meeting with the legislator!
Be familiar with the issues that you are going to discuss. Copies of the legislation and talking points are available, and you can refer to these documents as needed during your meeting. Be prepared to answer questions or provide additional information in the event the member expresses interest or asks questions. If possible, take some time to do more research on the issues, as well as doing some background research on the members with whom you will meet. Brief bios are available on the General Assembly website that will tell you information on where the district is located, how long the member has been in office, what committees they serve on, and legislation they have sponsored. Many members also have their own campaign websites with biographical information and their position on policy issues. The more you know going in, the easier it will be to relate with and persuade your legislator!
Be sure to get business cards before leaving the office. Follow up the meeting with a thank you note that outlines the different points covered during the meeting, and send along any additional information or materials that are requested during the meeting.
Social media is a great way to share your positive experiences with your meeting. Most members have Twitter and Instagram accounts. Post about your meeting and tag them, they will appreciate the exposure. Pictures are always great and it may be helpful to have a designated photographer in your group to take photos during or after your meeting. Please also use #nctaa to tag TAA, so that we can share your posts.
Questions? Contact Dustin Engelken, TAA's Government Affairs Director.