Until now, we have examined how individuals and interest groups assemble the power and resources to make change. When an issue becomes ripe for action, it is time -- for them and for us -- to focus on persuading the people and organizations who can make change happen.
This chapter analyzes how issue advocates persuade decision makers from the "inside." The next chapter explores how they mobilize popular support to put "outside" pressure on those same decision makers. Taken together, chapters 9 and 10 describe the strategies and tactics advocates use to influence how laws and policies are made, interpreted, and administered.
Even before Ross Perot made the word "lobbyist" R-rated, lobbying had an image problem. To many, lobbying has unsavory connotations of arm twisting, backroom bargaining, and trading money for influence. Yet citizens and interest groups who lobby are participating directly in the making of laws and the governing of the nation; they are exercising their constitutional right to petition the government.
Legislators hold hearings to solicit the views of the public; they invite their constituents into their offices; they attend town meetings in their districts so that they can stay in touch with the people they represent. They conduct their legislative business in public (for the most