One of my favorite programs I’ve gotten to implement since I started at NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio is Lunch & Lobby! This was a program I started in February 2018.
Lunch & Lobby is a monthly series where NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio partners with UC Women’s Center to bring in elected officials to talk with students in an intimate setting – we talk about the journey to elected office, what it’s like working in the legislature, and the students have an opportunity to ask our elected officials questions and express their concerns. So far we’ve had Rep. Brigid Kelly and Rep. Catherine Ingram participate in our series, while other months have been focused on topics such as the history of Roe v. Wade, feminism as it relates to careers, and an election debrief following the 2018 midterms.
I really appreciate Lunch & Lobby as an opportunity for students to meet the people who most directly represent them on a state level and ask them questions on their own territory. The idea of going to the statehouse and scheduling a meeting with a legislator can seem intimidating, so meeting students on their level makes this a little less so.
Lobbying is something that anyone can do – you don’t have to be a paid lobbyist to lobby your representative. All it takes is an email or a phone call to set up a meeting. They’re there to represent and serve you, so your time and thoughts are important to them. If you’re interested in learning how to lobby I recommend attending Freedom of Choice-Ohio’s annual Advocacy Day and/or checking out the book Citizen Lobbyist. Both will provide you with the skills to talk to your legislators in person about what’s important to you.
Are you interested in bringing Lunch & Lobby to your campus? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make it happen!
— Kelley Freeman, Statewide Field Manager