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Letter: Tips for influencing your legislator

Do you understand the context in which Fargo area citizens influence their North Dakota legislators? How do most lawmakers decide to vote on a particular piece of legislation? This year in Bismarck, your legislators will vote on about 800 bills.

Perhaps the best time to lobby is year-round when you do not need anything. The various executive agency budgets are another great place to use your influence.

There is no certain path of success to influence an agency budget or a North Dakota legislator, but here are a few actions that may help you get that bill passed or funding inserted into an executive budget request:

• Contribute to your legislator's campaign.

• Use a radio call-in show.

• Promote your issue with Gov. Doug Burgum.

• Write a letter to the editor.

• Contact your legislator with a handwritten note.

• Have a personal visit with your legislator.

• Contribute to a political party.

• Visit a political party caucus meeting in Bismarck.

• Visit with the political party leaders about your issue.

• Testify at the bill's hearing in Bismarck.

• Take your legislator's spouse to lunch.

• Have citizens from every part of the state contact legislators about your issue.

Yes, influencing means communicating directly with a legislator or a person in the executive branch for the purpose of influencing legislative or administrative action.

Have you influenced your North Dakota legislators or agency executives during this 2017 legislative session?

Please add to our legislative influence list by writing your own letter to the editor and following legislative news on Inforum.

Seymour served as a North Dakota Senator from 2002 to 2010.

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