Environmental lobbyists work to persuade politicians to vote on legislation in a way that will favor the interests of the environmental group they represent.
Lobbying can be separated into two forms, direct and indirect.
- Direct lobbying takes place when lobbyists meet with politicians and provide them with information that is relevant to the legislation on the floor. The main goal of direct lobbying is to influence the politician to vote a certain way on legislation that is consistent with the interests of the group you represent. It is also common for lobbyists to assist politicians in the drafting of favorable legislation. Besides working with politicians, lobbyists must also research and analyze the legislation, keep up to date on what is happening with the legislation, and attend legislation hearings.
- Indirect lobbying is synonymous with grassroots organizing. Grassroots lobbyists recruit community members to promote the interests of their group by holding demonstration or writing or calling politicians. The main objective of a grassroots lobbyist is to rally the community around a certain issue and to empower them to do something about it. To generate interest about and awareness of their issues, grassroots lobbyists utilize the media by writing newspaper or magazine articles and appearing on television news programs
Environmental lobbyist services are sought after by private industries, non-profit interest groups, government, and scientific and research organizations. There are roughly 3000 organizations with offices in Washington D.C. that employ environmental lobbyists (ehponline.org).
To become an environmental lobbyist all a person needs to do is be an expert on an environmental topic. Obtaining a science degree and supplementing it with classes in law, public relations, communications, economics, or political science will provide a good educational foundation for a person pursuing a lobbyist career.
Gaining an internship with a government agency, environmental interest group or with a lobbying firm while in college will help you learn more about the inner workings of government or that interest group and about the lobbying profession.
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