Industry lobbyists come out in droves to any legislative hearing that threatens their interests, so it’s critical to be prepared. Michele Simon has given legislative testimony in opposition to food and alcohol lobbyists at every level of government. Examples include San Francisco City Hall; the California State Assembly; and the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary–supporting a bill to protect state regulation of alcohol (testimony.)
Eat Drink Politics can help draft written testimony, offer oral testimony, or just prep you. We can anticipate industry lobbyist arguments and tactics in the hearing room and suggest responses for policymakers and the media.
One of the ways corporate lobbyists get bills passed that favor industry is by writing them in the first place. Public health advocates can do the same. Michele Simon has drafted legislation, for example, to ban caffeine in alcohol (as a model for states to follow) and to place fees on alcoholic beverages at both the state and local levels. Let Eat Drink Politics help you draft legislation to promote your policy agenda or offer you advice on how to do so.
Before a federal agency such as the Federal Trade Commission or the Food and Drug Administration finalizes a regulation, it must first ask for public comment. Of course, industry lobbyists are very adept at telling these agencies what they want. It’s important for public health advocates to be just as organized. Michele Simon has filed federal comments on issues such as junk food marketing to children, alcohol advertising, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Eat Drink Politics can alert your group when comments should be filed and then help draft them, as well as strategize to get other groups to sign on or submit their own.
An important policy strategy is sending letters to legislative bodies either in support or opposition to a proposed bill, whether at the local, state, or federal level. A good way to amplify your message is to ask other groups and individuals to sign-on to your letter. Eat Drink Politics can help draft legislative support or oppose letters and strategize for asking other groups to sign on.
Before embarking on a campaign that challenges powerful industries, it’s a good idea to take stock, assess your resources, and evaluate your readiness. Eat Drink Politics can help you understand the various trade groups and lobbying tactics you can anticipate and help plan an effective campaign. We can also educate foundations on which groups are doing what and recommend effective strategies for countering industry tactics and lobbying.
An effective policy campaign requires ongoing help. At any moment, industry lobbyists can throw clever obstacles in your path. Eat Drink Politics is available to assist with whatever questions you may have along the way. We have years of experience trouble shooting and with educating policymakers and advocates about food and alcohol policy. If we can’t get you the right answer, we will refer you to someone in our network who will.