Strategic Thinking for the Legislative Process

Sign up today for a series of zoom webinars focused on Vermont Statehouse processes. Each webinar costs $25, and participants can either sign up for single webinars or for the full series. The Action Circles Open Office Hours are free and open to all, but you still need to register. Registration form below. 

Advocacy in a Hybrid World

Friday January 7th, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

Remote meetings have dominated the way business is done by legislators in the past year and a half, but in-person meetings are becoming more common again as we move from crisis to recovery. From the State House to online systems, learn some techniques to maximize the efficacy of your advocacy in a “hybrid” world. 

Federal Money and the State Budget Process

Friday January 14th, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

Understanding the budget process is key to getting legislation passed that requires funding, and the influx of federal funds due to the covid pandemic has created an unprecedented opportunity of available one-time funds for the budgeting process. In this webinar, you will learn what the Vermont budget process is and how/when you can get involved to advocate for specific funding requests. Participants will get an overview of the federal money that has come to Vermont in the past year and a half, how decisions are made, and who makes them. By the end of the webinar, you will have tips for talking with legislators about your funding request, as well as an understanding of why we recommend you “do all the things” (and what those things are) for policy goals that include state funding. 

Vermont Legislative Website 101

Friday January 21st, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

The Vermont State House website contains a lot of valuable information and knowing how to navigate it will help you stay on top of legislative activity and inform your legislative strategy. In this webinar we’ll take a comprehensive virtual tour of the Statehouse website, and highlight some key pages to keep an eye on throughout the sessions. You’ll also learn some “pro tips” for how to find documents, find out what is going on in committees, and figuring out what legislators are actually doing.

Action Circles Open Office Hour

Friday January 28th, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

The Action Circles open office hour is an opportunity for anyone to virtually “stop by” with our team to talk through legislative strategies or ask any questions you may have about the legislative process, budget process, or anything else! If you’re feeling stuck on what the next best move is for your campaign, or confused about the legislative process, then this is a great opportunity to brainstorm with other experienced advocates. This can also be a time to eat our lunches together for people who miss sitting together in the State House cafeteria. People are welcome to join or leave the open office hour at any time throughout the hour.

Interested in future webinars? Want to arrange a webinar for your team? Contact us!

Want to watch a webinar video with your team? We can give access to videos from previous webinars for $25/video up to 4 webinars, and $20/video above that. Please contact us with the videos you are interested in.

Looking for more in-depth workshops and in-person trainings? Have a look at what we offer in the Action Circles Academy.

Webinars we offer:

Accountability That Counts

Build on the hard work you’ve done during the legislative session by digging down to carefully analyze what worked and what didn’t. Learn to create a structure for accountability that will make your organization not only more dependable in how you follow up, but also evolve and adapt as circumstances change every year. Turn your winning strategies into systems that grow on your successes. It can be difficult to maintain momentum after a legislative session ends – a good debrief can help to celebrate your victories and capture the lessons you learned in a lasting way.

Advocacy in a Virtual World

With remote meetings dominating the way business is done by legislators, learn some techniques to transition your advocacy efforts from the State House to online systems.

Current Story Analysis

An overview of our Current Story Analysis process, the first step toward setting goals and developing strategy and messaging. You might know what you want the story to be, but do you really know what the current story is? Deep media analysis and reflection can give you the means to create an effective map to move from the current story to the ending you desire.

Find Your Flock with Fun Events

Fun Events are the first step in the Action Circles Model of Organizing. Fun Events are FUN and will help you find people who are interested in your issue and plug them into your campaign. Although these events require a fair amount of up front work, they pay off in a solid group of people who want to be involved in your work. This workshop is best for people who are responsible for organizing people for a specific cause or group. After this workshop, participants will know:

  • The key elements of an organizing event
  • How to create a workplan to get everything done on time
  • How to get people to come to the event
  • How to get people to sign up while at the event
  • How to design the event so people want to come back for another
  • How to get help to get it all done

Getting Ready for Candidate or Legislator Meetings and Events

One-on-one meetings and public events for candidates are great opportunities to highlight your organization and your issues. For these meetings and events to be effective, they should have some value for the candidates as well as for you. Remember, candidates are always struggling to find ways to talk to voters, distinguish themselves from other candidates, and get press coverage. If you can offer these things, candidates will appreciate the opportunity, even if they don’t agree with you on your issue. Because politics is all about relationships, building a base of goodwill with the candidates can help you in the long run. This webinar will help you have an effective event or meeting.

Hopes, Fears, Priorities

An Action Circles Activity to help you identify your group’s priorities.

This activity is designed to help a group come to consensus on a set of priorities that will help you move toward your overall goal. Ideally, when you do this exercise you already know what your overall goal is, but if you don’t this exercise can also begin to clarify the direction your group wants to move in, so you can build on the results of this exercise to develop your broader goal statement.

Invite, Support, Feedback

Learn how to issue calls to action and other communications with your members and activists in a way that will keep them interested and involved.

Let’s Meet Again

This workshop is for anyone who wants to have better meetings. After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define goals and objectives for every meeting
  • Develop an agenda that is satisfying and productive
  • Set up a meeting for maximum effectiveness
  • Get all meeting attendees to participate
  • Identify clear commitments made in the meeting
  • End the meeting clearly, with next steps and commitments

Speak Your Truth

Speaking to decision makers can be a big hurdle for citizen activists. This training will give you tips and tricks to make your communications more effective regardless of if they are in your local general store, the State House Cafeteria, or in the witness chair of a legislative hearing.

Strategic Thinking for the Legislative Process

Knowing the legislative process and the rules of the game will help you build a successful legislative strategy. In this webinar we’ll go over some key points to consider when making your plan to move an issue through the legislature. We will offer a structure for you to build your strategy upon, which will include the legislative steps necessary to take you from beginning to success for your issue.

Tips for Testifying to a Legislative Committee

When a committee is working on a bill and you have a chance to testify, how can you best prepare? What should you say? How can you provide the most useful information? We’ll show you how to get the information you need and how to be an effective witness.

Vermont Budget Process

Understanding the budget process is key to attaining or defending State funding through the Legislature, and to getting legislation passed that requires funding. In this webinar, you will:

  • Learn fun facts about Vermont’s budget process
  • Learn what the process is and when and how you can get involved to advocate for your funding
  • Understand why we recommend you “do all the things”
  • Find out how the decisions are made and who makes them
  • Find out how to get information about the budget
  • Get some tips for talking with legislators about your platform and request

Working With The Press

How do you build a press list? Work with reporters to pitch a story? Get coverage for your press conference or event? When do you send a media alert or press release and what do you put in them? Find out how to do nitty gritty old school press work in this Action Circles webinar.

You Have the Power

Everyone has power, and not all power is the same. Learn about different types of power and how you can build smarter campaigns when you understand how to use them.