«Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day Primer Hosted by LMB, MTGA, MMBA & PEAC May 20, 2015 – Lansing, MI Background The Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy ...»
Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day Primer
Hosted by LMB, MTGA, MMBA & PEAC
May 20, 2015 – Lansing, MI
The Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day is hosted annually in honor of Lucinda J.
Means, League of Michigan Bicyclists’ (LMB) first paid Executive Director. Lucinda was a
vigorous advocate for bicyclists and worked tirelessly to promote and improve bicycling
The first Advocacy Day was in 2006. It was inspired by the 2005 celebration of Lucinda's life. On a cold, drizzling day in May 2005, cyclists from across Michigan participated in a bicycle parade to the State Capitol in memory of Lucinda.
Advocacy Day is now held annually in May as part of Michigan Bike Month. It has evolved into a full-day event where cyclists meet with Michigan legislators to advance a pro-bike policy and help make Michigan a more bicycle-friendly state.
Since 2010, LMB has collaborated with the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, Michigan Mountain Biking Association to host Advocacy Day. In 2013, PEAC joined as an official Advocacy Day partner.
You can read more about Lucinda and the great work she did on behalf of bicyclists at:
Tentative Schedule 8:00 AM – Bike rally leaves from Kircher/Municipal Park,* Lansing 8:20 AM – Bike rally arrives at State Capitol with group photo to immediately follow 8:45 AM** – Check In, welcome, issue overview & questions 10:00*** AM – Meetings with Representatives and Senators 12:30 PM – Lunch on Capitol grounds
• Presentation of "May is Bike Month" Resolution
• LMB Annual Meeting & Award Presentation 1:30 PM (approximately) – Conclusion Participants are also invited to join the Lansing area Ride of Silence at 6:30 PM for a ride of solidarity recognizing injured and killed bicyclists across the globe.
Map to Event Start (Kircher/Municipal Park) * NOTE: Our new start location is Kircher/Municipal Park on the corner of Kalamazoo and Clippert in Lansing Michigan. Kircher/Municipal Park has bathrooms, ample parking and is right off of 127/496. Click here for directions and a map.
**NOTE: Some people may have meetings that start as early as 9:30 AM. It is especially important for you to thoroughly review the issue papers in advance. You may have to leave our morning briefing before it is completed.
*** NOTE: If you do plan to participate in the morning or plan to arrive after 8:45 AM, please notify us by email (john@LMB.org) or phone (517-334-9100) prior to May 20. Only those who are check in before 8:45 PM will be scheduled to have meetings.
Bike Rally Advocacy Day kicks off with a bicycle-police-escorted bike ride down Michigan Ave. This slow-paced “parade” is approximately 1.5 miles from Kircher/Municipal Park to the State Capitol. Please ride no more than two abreast. Unless the police wave us through intersections, we will follow all normal rules of the road. Please, wear a helmet! We encourage all riders to be as safe as possible.
If you miss the road rally, you can park in the structure near our Capitol staging grounds at Allegan St. and Capitol Ave. (see map). The bike rally is short and slow paced, so traditional biking attire is not necessary (see dress code below). The bike rally will start promptly at 8:00 AM. If you cannot arrive by 8:15 AM, we suggest you go directly to the State Capitol. If you plan to check in later than 8:45 AM, please see NOTE above.
Bike Parking There will be portable bike parking set up at the Capitol courtesy of the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council (Mid-MEAC). Park your bicycle by hanging your saddle over the horizontal bar. To accommodate as many bikes as possible, please hang bicycles in alternating directions. The bicycles will be watched closely throughout the day, but you are strongly encouraged to bring a lock. LMB and Mid-MEAC assume no liability for any stolen or damaged bicycles. Please claim your bicycle no later than 1:30 PM, so our volunteers can disassemble the portable bike racks.
Group Photo As soon as you arrive at the Capitol, please park your bike and listen for directions about where to line up for a group photo. We have very limited time to take the photo, so we ask for your cooperation to help us keep on schedule.
Check-In (Bathroom facilities will be available at the Capitol building.) Immediately following the group photo, please check in and find a seat under the tent.
Our first meetings are scheduled for 10 AM, so we will have approximately an hour to review the issues and answer any questions. Your help will make this process go smoothly for everyone. Thank you!
2015 Advocacy Agenda
Please download and carefully review the 2015 legislative priorities at:
Dress Code There is no formal dress code to meet with your legislators. Keep in mind, however, that legislators and staff typically wear business attire. To be most effective in this setting, wear appropriate attire (business casual at a minimum) rather than cycling clothing from the morning bike rally. Your pant leg clips/bands, our provided bike pins, and your carried helmet identify you sufficiently as a cyclist! We also suggest you wear street shoes rather than bike shoes to keep you safe on the polished, sometimes slippery, lobby floors.
The Capitol bathrooms are available if you need to change. But, you may have limited time between the bike rally and your first office visit.
Be Prepared Term limits in the Legislature are short, so seats turn over frequently. Your Legislators meet with hundreds of different interest groups each year. You may be one of their first encounters with bicycle advocates! It’s especially important that you are well prepared for your meetings. Know the material – practice at home beforehand so you are prepared to speak on the legislative priorities (see Advocacy Agenda above).
If possible, research your legislators before hand. Visit http://www.house.mi.gov and www.senate.mi.gov to find your legislators. Click on web links to see what committees they sit on and what issues may be important to them. Since bicycling has a plentitude of benefits, it is often easy to relate our advocacy priorities back to issues that are important to them.
Use local examples to make your point. It can also help make a connection as to why bicycling is important to his or her district (just don’t forget to relate them back to the legislative priorities at hand).
Transportation Committee members are especially important to LMB and PEAC because they typically handle issues that effect on-road bicycling. Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Committee members are especially important to MMBA and MTGA because they tend to deal with issues important to trails. Legislators on committees of interest will be highlighted on the information you will receive at check in.
There will also be notes about any legislators who have sponsored, are currently sponsoring or cosponsoring bills of interest. Please be sure to thank any current sponsors or cosponsors and request past supporters to once again support our efforts. Your inforation packets will also include information about the voting records of each legislator on issues of importance.
NOTE: Bring a picture ID – You will need it to enter the House Office Building.
Scheduled Visits Your scheduled meetings will be in one of three places: the Anderson House Office Building (Representatives), the Farnum Building (Senators) or the State Capitol (Representatives and Senators in leadership). All three buildings are within a couple blocks of each other (a map will be provided). We often schedule meetings 30 minutes apart, which is usually plenty of time to get from one meeting to the next. But, it is important to keep an eye on the time.
Expect your meeting to last 10 –20 minutes at most. After introductions, this means you will only have a few minutes to go over each issue and make the “ask.” Legislators are extremely busy, and although we attempt to schedule as many meetings as possible with your actual Representatives and Senators, their schedules can change quickly and without notice. Thus, you will very likely be meeting with someone from the legislator’s staff. If this happens, do not be disappointed. Legislative staffers are invaluable resources, which typically do a great job relaying our priorities to the legislator.
You will have a set of issue papers that clearly state our position on our legislative priorities (please study them in advance!). Explain each of the issues to the best of your ability and personalize them whenever possible. You will often get noncommittal answers on the spot. Do your best to get them to state their position by specifically asking if they support or oppose each issue.
Before you wrap up your visit, briefly mention the various information in the “leave behind” packet which will includes the: Michigan Ride Calendar, What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know, What Every Young Michigan Bicyclist Must Know, Michigan Trail Directory and materials from PEAC and MMBA. Please let them know they can obtain additional copies by contacting the LMB office.
We believe in the buddy system. So in addition to your main meetings, you may find that we schedule you for additional meetings with legislator other than your own. We may also do this to ensure we have meetings covered with all the legislators who serve on committees of interest. We thank you in advance for your assistance!
Literature Drops (Unscheduled Visits) In addition to your scheduled meetings, we need your assistance in dropping off literature at the offices of legislators from districts where we do not have bicyclists in attendance.
You can make these deliveries before, after, or in between your scheduled meetings.
Stop by our tent on the Capitol lawn and we will assign you specific offices. Therefore, we can ensure we reach every legislator!
Literature drops are relatively easy – simply walk into the offices, introduce yourself and briefly explain the information in the packet. Quickly go over the issue paper bullet points, if time allows. If the legislator is available, approach him or her just as you would your own and introduce yourself. Often times an unscheduled visit can turn into a productive short meeting. Just remember that you do not have an official meeting scheduled, so always respect the time of the legislator and their staff.
If a staffer is on the phone, please wait politely for him or her to finish their call. This gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself instead of just leaving the packet on their counter. If the office is locked, leave the bag hanging neatly from the doorknob, on the floor, or better yet, try back a little later in the day.
Team Captains At check in, you will be notified if you are a Team Captain. This simply means that you are the one responsible for picking up the literature bag from our tent and bringing it to that specific meeting. Please note that you may be Team Captain for more than one meeting. Being Team Captain does not require you to do all of the talking (unless you are the only one in the meeting).
Occasionally, assigned Team Captains do not show up. We do our best to reassign a different Team Captain before everyone heads off to their meetings. This is one of the reasons why it is important to contact the LMB office in advance if you plan to arrive later than the scheduled check in time as outlined above. If you end up at a meeting and your Team Captain is not there, simply use the issue papers that we included in your individual packet that you received at check in. You can always return to that legislator’s office after your meeting to drop their literature packet off.
Team Captains are also responsible for making sure that a legislative feedback form is filled out and turned in for that meeting.
Untraditional Visits (Floor Visits / Lunch Meetings) It can be difficult to schedule meetings directly with your Senator or Representative during Advocacy Day. Occasionally, we are able to arrange untraditional visits. This means that a legislator gives us permission to have you pull them off the House or Senate floor with a note. You can do this by going to the appropriate chamber in the Capital building and telling the Sergeant of Arms that your legislator has requested that you pull them off the floor. They will give you a note to fill out. Remind them that this is part of our Advocacy Day event and that their office previously communicated with LMB staff about stepping out of chamber for a few minutes. When they great you, thank them for making special arrangements and keep your comments extremely brief.
Additionally, some legislators will request to stop by our tent during the lunch hour.
Occasionally they will actually stop to eat, but often it’s just a quick visit. These visits are extremely hard to coordinate, as it can be difficult to match you up with your legislator when they drop in. If your meeting notes indicate a lunch visit, please stick around the tent during the lunch hour and diligently look out for your legislator. You will find photos of all the Representatives and Senators in the Citizen’s Guide to State Government, which we’ll have hard copies available the day of the event.
Legislative Visit “Do’s”
• Introduce yourself with a smile and handshake, as a LMB/MTGA/MMBA/PEAC representative.
• Remind them that you are a constituent who lives in their district (if that is true).
• Start on a positive note — thank them for something, even if it’s just their time (see sponsor/ list).
• Pull out the materials from the literature bag and make sure to get the issue papers in the legislator’s hands. You can refer to the copy that was provided to you in that packet you received at check in.
• Be confident, sit up straight and look them in the eye.
• Use stories related back to the district - a personal story will leave an image that will be remembered long after the data and statistics fade.
• Assume they have no or little knowledge of the topic.
• Go over each issue paper and make a specific request (the “ask”).
• Ask for a commitment; at least get them to say “maybe” if you can’t get a firm “yes” or “no”.
• Collect business card(s) so you know who to follow up with.