AN ATTORNEY’S ROLE IN
PUBLIC POLICY CHANGE
March 20, 2022
We have all witnessed how events in U.S. history have led to fundamental changes in public policy. Whether it’s a good thing like Rosa Parks refusing to go to the back of the bus, or parents descending on school boards in fear and anger, people in motion make a difference.
Many people desire to see changes in public policy that they feel will make life better for them and their loved ones, but how do they go about that change?
You do not need to feel alone when thinking of fundamental changes that need to be made. People everywhere are feeling overlooked or ignored by people who make public policy. Is there a way to get your voice heard and eventually bring about change?
Yes, there is, and It generally requires getting involved with like-minded people and advocating – first with baby steps and then as momentum gathers, with a proud march forward – for the change you seek.
If you’re in Louisville, in Kentucky, or anywhere, contact me at Chris Sanders Law PLLC. I am an attorney for working people and an activist in law, labor, faith, and politics.
I believe in social justice, and I work with others to build coalitions and fight for change. I have provided legal, networking, and strategic counsel since the 1990s to national social justice and workers’ rights organizations with coalitions and chapters all across America.
Contact me with your concerns, issues, and dreams, and let’s work together toward fulfilling your view of needed public policy change.
IMPORTANCE OF AN ATTORNEY’S EXPERIENCE IN PUBLIC AFFAIRS
I began my career working for a law firm that represented labor unions. Later on, I became an officer with the AFL-CIO and worked for a union active in politics. I began to form connections with like-minded elected officials, and I saw the power of activism in helping change public policy. I began to appreciate the connection between law, politics, and social justice.
In other words, I’m not your average lawyer representing clients in lawsuits and other legal actions. I feel compelled by my faith and belief in social justice to help others create change that improves the lives of all.
AN ATTORNEY’S ROLE IN
PUBLIC POLICY CHANGE
As I said above, I’m not your average attorney. I help build coalitions and forge connections with political and social leaders who can help me and others in Kentucky bring about change. If you work with me, I can use the personal connections I’ve built up over the years to help get your voice and cause heard.
I am also an experienced negotiator. Let’s face it. Change does not come about without opposition and the forces of entrenched power fighting back. Sometimes you have to start with baby steps, and as more people join the cause, those baby steps can become giant strides. But change involves a meeting of the minds. I am experienced in working with those in power to get the people’s voices heard and negotiating for a result that brings everyone together.
To be effective and successful, you must understand the legislative process. As a labor union activist, I learned the legislative ropes from the ground up. Often, the process of changing or initiating legislation begins with letters to the legislators who can effect the change you want.
A good cause can begin with a letter-writing campaign. Here, people must write personal letters, not just send carbon copies of an organizer’s original letter. Let the power brokers feel your passion.
Lobbying and advocacy are vital steps. Letters and calls to legislators can begin the process, but eventually, there are meetings with legislators. It’s important to remember there are laws governing lobbying by non-profit organizations, which restrict charitable organizations from spending a “substantial part” of their time and budget on lobbying.
Lobbying according to federal tax law is an attempt to influence specific legislation. Lobbying has two types: direct and grassroots. Direct lobbying is contacting legislators to influence the passing or rejection of any legislation. Grassroots means swaying public opinion.
Many activities fall outside of the laws and regulations governing lobbying and advocacy. Hosting public gatherings and producing reports and policy papers generally fall outside lobbying and advocacy regulations.
As we take the lead on an issue, organizations can certainly host gatherings to get that issue out to the public, and we can also publish policy papers and other reports supporting our cause. I am experienced in these vital activities and can help you build momentum for your cause or issue.
GETTING THE EXPERIENCED GUIDANCE YOU NEED
You may feel like a small voice out there with no one to hear you or join you in your vision of change, but you are not alone. We’ve recently seen how parents can influence school boards to make changes in curriculum and even in pandemic restrictions. I'm personally not a fan, but we can't deny the power of persuasion.
Whatever injustice you see, or whatever vision you have for a better future for all of us in Louisville, Kentucky, contact me immediately at Chris Sanders Law PLLC and let’s work together to build a better tomorrow.