In remarks during the American Bankers Association’s Emerging Leaders Forum today, Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) urged attendees to be involved in their community and build relationships with lawmakers. “If you want to lobby, if you want to get your point across, do it before you have to do it. Meaning, build that relationship before you need that relationship,” he said.
He added that the best way to be effective when lobbying a legislator is to talk about common interests and discuss the issues in that person’s district that make a difference. “I get lobbied all the time, and when I get people from my district come in and talk to me and make it real, relational relationships, that makes all the difference in the world,” he said.
Correa also stressed the importance of standing out when lobbying. “The way to stand out is to, before you get there, to already have that relationship. But once you’re there, do something that legislator is going to remember you by. I’m going to remember you not because of what is important to you, but what is important to me—and if you bring me something that actually makes a difference.”