The LWVNJ Activist Training Program is a program designed to equip members and volunteers with the knowledge and skills needed to carry out dynamic organizing strategies that can effectively influence public policy and the state of democracy in New Jersey.
Program participants will have the opportunity to hone their skills in three (3) core training areas: direct lobbying, grassroots advocacy, and voter outreach.
With support from LWVNJ staff, program participants will apply skills developed through trainings by getting involved and taking action in the organization’s ongoing advocacy efforts and voter education campaigns. Advocacy Academy participants will play a key role in our state and local campaigns. Participants will be called upon to help promote campaign efforts and bring local voices to the conversation.
The first component of the training program will cover direct lobbying. Although sometimes ‘lobbying’ can come with a negative connotation, it is an essential part of successful advocacy campaigns. Broadly, lobbying is anything we do to convince officials to bring about change. Talking to legislators and making the case for your campaign is necessary to getting legislation passed or developed at any level of government to address the problem your campaign seeks to solve.
Introduction to the Legislative Process
This training will provide an important overview of the legislative process in New Jersey. You will learn about the structure and leadership of the New Jersey Legislature, how bills advance through each chamber, legislative lingo & tips for navigating the State House. Attendees will receive a tutorial on tracking the status of bills using the legislature's website.
Sign up for this training on Wednesday, August 11th from 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Sign up for this training on Wednesday, September 8th from 12:00pm-1:30pm
Meeting with Decision-Makers
This training will go into detail about crafting lobbying materials, talking points, and thinking through potential strategies for gaining support on policy issues. You will learn the process for scheduling meetings with decision-makers, how to coordinate with LWVNJ staff, and how to prepare yourself for these important meetings. Folks that complete this training will be eligible to meet with their own representatives about certain LWVNJ policy issues through the Lobby Corps and under the direction of LWVNJ staff.
Sign up for this training on Thursday, August 19th from 12:00pm-2:30pm
Sign up for this training on Monday, September 13th from 5:00pm-7:30pm
This training will teach participants about crafting and providing testimony with a focus on our Fair Districts New Jersey redistricting campaign. You will learn how to prepare for delivering testimony, both written and oral, at a community or legislative hearing, and how you can contribute to the FDNJ campaign. You will learn how to go about coordinating testimony with LWVNJ staff, and how to organize and develop talking points. Folks that complete this training will be eligible to provide testimony on certain LWVNJ policy issues through the Lobby Corps and under the direction of LWVNJ staff.
Sign up for this training on Thursday, September 30th from 6:00pm-8:30pm
The LWVNJ Lobby Corps will serve as a go-to group for LWVNJ’s policy committees and staff to call upon for campaign action! Participants will learn and develop key lobbying and grassroots organizing skills through The LWVNJ Activist Training Program. Committee liaisons and LWVNJ staff will hold informative briefings and updates on priority policy issues and the Lobby Corps will have the opportunity to take action. Lobby Corps members can choose the policy areas that they are most interested in advocating for and the ways in which they prefer to do so. Volunteers can hold and participate in legislative district meetings, rallies, community hearings, and other direct advocacy efforts. Volunteers will also be able to write letters to the editor, create and share informative flyers and graphics, and help to promote and gain support for LWVNJ’s legislative priorities.
All aspects of the Lobby Corps are run and coordinated by LWVNJ staff.
Participation in direct lobbying training is required to join The LWVNJ Lobby Corps.
Signup information for the LWVNJ Lobby Corps coming soon.
Grassroots advocacy is an essential part of campaign building and passing any type of legislation. In order to have success lobbying you need to have a base of campaign supporters. Grassroots advocacy allows you to spread the word about your campaign, educate residents about the issue you are working to tackle, and empower others to make their voice heard. There are many different grassroots strategies, both digital and in-person, that LWVNJ implements regularly in order to advance our priority legislation. Grassroots advocacy is a cornerstone of a successful and representative democracy and allows residents to partake in policy discussions and decisions.
You will learn how to participate in building support, influencing decision makers, and advancing campaigns through the power of the people. Some of the trainings will cover digital organizing – friendbanking, Twitter Storms, and other social media tools. We will also go over impactful ways to reach and educate folks through other outlets, like writing letters to the editor and creating and distributing informative graphics/flyers. By participating in these trainings, you will be able to have a larger impact on upcoming events and actions. Both our Fair Districts New Jersey and our Same Day Voter Registration campaigns will be hosting events this fall that will build on the skills developed in these trainings. We need active participants in upcoming Twitter Storms, LTE campaigns, community map making meetings, and more.
Using Outreach Circle for Friendbanking
This training will go over an impactful grassroots organizing tool - Outreach Circle. You will learn how to navigate and use the platform and how to take campaign action through it. Friendbanking through Outreach Circle allows you to easily build campaign power by sending sign on letters, links for writing to legislators, informative articles or graphics, and more to your personal network of family and friends. Building power through personal networks is a key component to grassroots advocacy and an extremely impactful way to inform constituents of the steps they can take to advance legislation. We will include an update and focus on our Fair Districts New Jersey campaign here as well.
Sign up for this training on Thursday, August 26th from 6:00pm-7:30pm
Effective Campaign Communications: Writing Letters to the Editor
It’s important to think of unique ways to reach different audiences when organizing a campaign. Local newspapers are a great way to lay out your reasons for supporting specific policies and educating residents about actions they can take. This training will teach you about communicating your campaign – how to think through campaign language, how to develop talking points, and how to summarize a complicated campaign into a digestible and compelling letter to the editor. By completing this training, you will be eligible to create LTE templates, write your own LTE for publishing and help communicate on certain LWVNJ policy issues through the Lobby Corps and under the direction of LWVNJ staff.
Sign up for this training on Thursday, September 23rd from 6:00pm-7:30pm
Voter outreach and education is an essential part of democratic elections. The election process is complicated, hard to find information about, and very localized. LWVNJ plays a crucial role in voter information, education, and participation. By working to spread accurate election information, LWVNJ volunteers can directly impact the ability of residents to participate in upcoming elections. Opportunities range from helping to craft and distribute informational materials to directly having conversations about the importance of voting and answering questions about how to do so. LWVNJ staff and voter education leaders will help ensure that volunteers have the information that they need to answer voter’s questions and that local Leagues have the support they need to host their own GOTV (Get Out The Vote) events. LWVNJ is a nonpartisan organization. All of our election-oriented work is based around providing accurate information and encouraging eligible voters to participate in all elections. We never endorse candidates or discuss specific political parties.
LWVNJ staff will teach volunteers how to organize and have conversations with residents. These conversations are often information-based – helping registered voters navigate the Vote by Mail system, locate their polling places, catch up on New Jersey’s adoption of early voting, and more. Ensuring that access to information is not a barrier to the ballot is an essential part of LWVNJ’s mission.
Training Events Coming Soon!