Speak up!


The first step in influencing anyone to better understand your point of is to know your audience. It is important to tailor your argument and your expectations to the individual with whom you are speaking. Black and white partisan politics may be good for campaigning, but when it comes to lobbying at the Capitol we live in a world of gray. Our most staunch opponent in one issue may in fact be an ally on another. When considering a specific issue, legislators may fall into one of a number of categories, as described below.


This is your core group of supportive legislators. Advocates are the ones who will sponsor your bills, speak on your behalf during the floor debates, and even influence their friends to support you as well. These often result from personal relationships with chiropractic physicians from their areas and serve as one of our most valuable resources at the Statehouse.


Another group of legislators will be on your side but may not be one who would “go to battle” for you. Thank them for their time and support and reinforce the importance of our issues so they may not become swayed against us without at least contacting us first.


Some legislators will be uncommitted on the issues, potentially able to vote either way. They may not be fully informed of the issue or they may not think it impacts them specifically. This is where constituent mobilization comes into play. If a legislator is on the fence, contact from a constituent may be all it takes to turn his or her “maybe” into a “yes” vote.

Likely Opponents

You can most likely count these legislators as being against you. They may have close ties with a constituent or another group that opposes that issue, but they most likely will not speak up on the matter. It is important to be courteous and try to get them to see that there is another side, even if they remain opposed. We do not want to allow them to become staunch opposition.

Staunch Opposition

These are the legislators who champion the other side of the argument, but even they are not lost causes. Sometimes third options or compromises may be reached when having a discussion with these members. It is important to listen and try to understand their points of view, and still thank them for the work they do. Never burn any bridges at the Statehouse.


In Illinois, as with most of the other larger states, being a legislator is a full-time job. For every legislator, there are several staff members supporting them.

District & Statehouse Aides

All legislators have staff at home and in Springfield to handle both offices. These are often the individuals who might “squeeze you in for a meeting” or draw extra attention to your message. In short, they are your gatekeepers. Often they are as far as you get when you call an office. It is “mission critical” to be courteous and kind to these individuals.

Caucus Staff

Both Republicans and Democrats have their own sets of Policy Staff, Legal Staff, Appropriation and Research Staff. These individuals are just as important as the legislators themselves when it comes to working out the details. These individuals work closely with legislators on policy.