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Top 5 Reasons to Lobby

1. You can make a difference. In Toledo, Ohio, a single mother struggling to raise her son without the help of a workable child support system put an ad in a local newspaper to see if there were others who wanted to work for change. There were. Over time, they built the Association for Child Support Enforcement, which has helped change child support laws across the country.

2. People working together can make a difference. Mothers Against Drunk Driving convinced dozens of states to toughen their drunk driving laws. As a result, the numbers of drunk driving deaths are lower nationwide.

3. People can change laws. History is full of people and groups that fought against great odds to make great changes: child labor laws, public schools, clean air and water laws, social security. These changes were not easy to achieve. They all took the active involvement - the lobbying - of thousands of people who felt something needed to be changed.

4. Lobbying is a democratic tradition. The act of telling our policymakers how to write and change our laws is at the very heart of our democratic system. It is an alternative to what has occurred in many other countries: tyranny or revolution. Lobbying has helped keep America's democracy evolving over more than two centuries.

5. Lobbying helps find real solutions. People thinking creatively and asking their elected officials for support can generate innovative solutions that overcome the root causes of a problem. Through such work, abused children have found rapid placement in safe homes, and restaurants have been able to donate excess food to those in need.

Adapted from "Ten Reasons to Lobby for Your Cause" from Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest at www.clpi.org  and further adapted from http://www.ctnonprofits.org/policy/resources/whylobby