On February 28, 2012, almost 60 citizens gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol to participate in Humane Lobby Day! Co-sponsored by Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection, The Humane Society of the United States, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it was a fun and energizing morning.
Advocates first gathered in the State Office Building to check in and receive fact sheets and lobbying materials. We then had a presentation about specific bills and lobbying tips. We were fortunate to be joined briefly by Senators Marty and Dibble, who offered good advice on effective advocacy. Dibble, especially, reminded everyone of the importance of 2012 as an election year. MVAP will be very engaged with the election process so we can help elect humane politicians to office this year!
Participants study lobby materials
After the presentation, people left for their appointments with their state senator and representative. After appointments we gathered briefly again to collect information about how appointments went, to exchange contact information with new friends made, and to talk about next steps. We were pleased to hear that numerous legislators were grateful to learn from their constituents about some bills they didn’t know much about. We were also happy to meet a number of new people who are interested in sharing their talents as volunteers with MVAP.
We got loads of positive and constructive feedback on Humane Lobby Day, and some great picture shares as well.
Here are a couple comments from participants:
“I foster dogs through Secondhand Hounds and have two adorable dogs of my own (Peanut and Bacon!) that I adopted from rescue organizations, so the issues that Humane Lobby Day represents are important to me in a very personal way. It’s vital that our government hears from voters about the issues that they are passionate about. An event like Humane Lobby Day allows us to connect with others that care about the same issues and ensure that our voices are heard as one. Talking with my senator and representative was an amazing experience and I can’t wait for next year!” –Kim M.
Senator Dibble speaks, with Sen Marty and HSUS MN Director Goldman in background
“…all in all this was an extremely heartening and encouraging, inspiring experience. Thank you!” — Heidi H.
Sarah W. wrote this on her blog: “I took the day off from work, and I attended Minnesota Humane Lobby Day 2012 today. I am so glad I did. I have to say, it felt good to go to St. Paul today to exercise my First Amendment right to freedom of speech. It made me think of my high school government class. In high school, I remember being encouraged to participate in the legislative process, and today made me think of how little I have actually done that. If you feel strongly about an issue, I encourage you to participate in the legislative process. Don’t let it intimidate you. Believe me, your opposition is participating.�?
Thanks to all who took the time out of your busy lives to share your thoughts with your elected state representatives. You are making a difference for the animals!
We look forward to seeing you again next year!
Some more photos from the event…
Jennifer S. meets with Sen Wiger
MVAP president Coughlin
Thomas G. meets with Sen Marty
Advocates listen to Senators Marty and Dibble
ASPCA Grassroots Advocacy Manager Jessica Johnson
Applause for the senators
Goldman, Sen Marty, Sen Dibble
Photo from inside the MN State Capitol