What to expect at Rivers of Alabama Day (Lobby/Legislative Day)
April 11, 2017 | Montgomery
Rivers of Alabama Day is the second Tuesday in April. In addition to celebrating Alabama’s waterways on this day, the Alabama Rivers Alliance encourages all Alabama citizens to meet up in Montgomery to talk with their elected officials about the importance of defending Alabama’s 132,000 miles of rivers and streams. ARA will meet with you in the morning and give you all the information you need to remind your representatives you vote, you care and you are paying attention.
Not sure what to expect but want to be involved? Read below for our Frequently Asked Questions or click directly to the question of your choice!
I’VE NEVER LOBBIED BEFORE! WHAT WOULD I SAY?
No experience necessary! You’ll simply introduce yourself to your local representative, let them know you vote, and tell them a little bit about yourself and why protecting rivers in your community is important to you. We’ll tell you all about two bills that will be considered this session and you’ll ask them to consider your opinion when they are voting on them. We’ll give you the lowdown before you meet them so there is nothing to worry about! If they have additional questions, you’ll simply ask them to meet with someone from Alabama Rivers Alliance and we’ll take it from there!
Our experience is that if you talk about community members you know or places you eat in your/their district, your local river and maybe a story about why you care about that river/stream/lake, then the personal connection you’ve just made will open the door for conversation about what concerns you. Maybe there has been pollution or sedimentation issues in your area, and you’ve noticed the effect it has had on you or your neighbors? That’s a great way to begin the conversation about water in your community. Ask if they have been to your favorite part of your river or stream. Anything that personally connects with them is good!
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Business casual is fine, but whatever you makes you most comfortable. There is a fair amount of walking, so wear comfy shoes! We’ll give you a #DefendRivers button, too!
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
- notepad and pen so you can take notes on your conversations
- cell phone so if you get lost or questions you can call Alabama Rivers Alliance
- Refillable water bottle, if you have one. Water fountains are available!
- Business cards are great to leave behind, too!
- Remember there are metal detectors so no weapons like pocket knives, etc!
I’M IN! WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
Let ARA know you’ll be there so we can order you some food! Click here to register now. We’ll send you an email with more details on Monday, April 10! If you have any questions, call us at 205.322.6395 or email Kelly at [email protected].
I WILL NEED A RIDE! IS ANYONE CARPOOLING?
Yes! We are setting that up right now. Register now and let us know and we’ll do our best to find you a ride or help with your travel.
WHERE DO I GO ON TUESDAY?
We are meeting at 10 am in Montgomery in the conference room at the offices of Alabama Arise (400 S Union St #340, Montgomery, AL 36104) on the 3rd floor. We will start with a briefing of the issues and some tips from Mitch Reid on how to talk with your elected officials.
WHERE DO I PARK?
You can park for free next to the Alabama Arise building. You’ll see a sign for AUM parking – park there free of charge!
WHAT’S THE DAY GOING TO LOOK LIKE?
Our schedule is subject to change based on happenings in Montgomery on Tuesday. We’ll let you know any changes to the schedule throughout the day.
10 am – noon: Briefing of the issues and bills with Alabama Rivers Alliance. Tips on talking points to help you talk with your local elected officials. Lunch included (be sure you have registered!)
12 pm: walk a couple of blocks to the Capitol steps for a special press conference from Alabama Rivers Alliance. We need you by our side as we make a major announcement with American Rivers and ask the Governor for a statewide water management plan to defend our rivers!
1 pm – 3 pm: Meet with your own elected officials!
3 pm – 3:30pm: Head back to the Alabama Arise conference room to debrief about your conversations. Snacks provided to thank you for your day of defending rivers!
4 pm: Car pools head back home! Pat yourself on the back for spending the day SHOWING UP to Defend our Rivers to our legislators!
GREAT! WHAT’S FOR LUNCH THOUGH.
We are ordering sandwiches based on the number of folks who registered. We will have vegetarian and gluten free options. Any donations towards the meals will be appreciated. We will also have snacks available when you return from meeting your legislators and before the trip home.
WHAT IS THAT SPECIAL PRESS CONFERENCE?
We have been working with American Rivers on an announcement that will bring national attention to a major watershed in Alabama. We hope it will help bring statewide attention to the importance of Alabama having a water management plan.
WHO ARE MY ELECTED OFFICIALS ANYWAY?
Click here to find your representatives. You often have to enter your whole address to find your representatives. You can print this screen or write the names down and bring with you on Tuesday.
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WATER PLAN, THE BILLS, ETC?
If you’d like to do a little research before Tuesday, take a look at our website for more information about the Water Plan and possible bills in the session.
Click here for more information about an Alabama Water Plan.
Click here for more information about SB255.
We expect to have another bill introduced by Tuesday that is vitally important to protecting the flows in Alabama. We’ll tell you more about that bill on Tuesday!
WHO IS ALABAMA RIVERS ALLIANCE?
If you are new to working with us we are glad to have you involved! Alabama Rivers Alliance is a statewide network of groups working to protect and restore all of Alabama’s water resources through building partnerships, empowering citizens, and advocating for sound water policy and its enforcement. You can read our complete mission statement, and watch a short video about our mission and our water policy agenda by clicking here.
I’M SOLD! WHERE DO I SIGN UP AGAIN?
Is there anyone else that you know that would be interested in attending? Please feel free to share. We feel strongly this year — more than ever — we need to SHOW UP and let our voices be heard!
I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS!
We’re here to answer! Call us at 205.322.6395 or email Kelly at [email protected].
Thank you for caring about our rivers and the importance they play in the health of our communities! We are proud to have you by our side.