Saturday, February 09, 2008

East Bethel's Non-lobbyist lobbying

From ABC Newspapers.

There is no flat rate for the contract, but it could not exceed an average of $3,000 per month.
Some months will require more expenditures because of fluctuation in federal

Applying for grants is one thing. Lobbying for these grants is another.
The Tinklenberg Group would maintain contact with federal offices, congressional leaders and staff representatives for the House and Senate and work closely with Eighth District Congressman Jim Oberstar and his staff to garner strong support. Oberstar chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

From the East Bethel city council minutes in July, 2007.

Tinklenberg said we would work with Minnesota’s regional, state, and federal elected officials which is a critical element to the success of these types of activities. He said we have a lot of experience working with them.
Tinklenberg said there are some things that we have learned in the process that can make you successful. He said first it is important to be clear about your expectations. Tinklenberg said more often than not you start small, demonstrate that you can
deliver, and then go back for larger amounts. He said Congressman Oberstar will be working on a 6-year bill that might provide more opportunities, but, it is easier to come back a second and third time.
Tinklenberg said the second lesson is none of this goes quickly, this is a slow process. He said If you get into this process brace yourself for a three year process. And third
is get support. He said if you have businesses, other cities, and an organized group of
residents supporting you, it can really help. He said it is almost always what we get asked when we walk into a legislator's office, who supports this. Tinklenberg said they want to make sure it serves as large a constituency as possible so you need as broad a base of support as possible. Tinklenberg said the final thing we have learned is the process can work. He said we have been involved in lots of projects and it can really help communities. Tinklenberg said he thinks there are significant opportunities for the City, especially in trails, parks, roads, and utilities.

We've seen this same argument used to entice other city councils!

Voss asked in terms of what is it going to take. Tinklenberg said we estimated the City’s cost at about $3,000 a month on average; it will sometimes be higher and sometimes lower. He said to keep this moving you have to keep it in front of people, including in Washington, you have to follow up, talk to them, find out what else they need in order for them not to put it to the side and forget about it. He said this will be the biggest expense and time consuming.

Got to keep it in from of the eyes of decision makers. And as Elwyn points out to the East Bethel City Council, it's both "the biggest expense and time consuming".

Would something that takes less than 20% of one's time be labeled "time consuming"?

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