Tenth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Brussels, Belgium 2004

Workshop 4: Training in Lobbying Techniques

Led by Marian Franz (USA)

3.4

Report by Marilyn Hébert (Canada)

Participants from six different countries profited from the wisdom gained by Marian Franz during her twenty years of lobbying parliamentarians both in Washington, DC and in parliamentarians' home districts at the invitation of US peace groups. The focus of Marian's work is the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill.

Marian shared with us spiritual insights and reflections as well as lots of practical advice. Among what may be referred to as spiritual insights, one can mention the importance of persevering in the work of lobbying by reminding oneself of one's two-fold motivation for being involved in such work, namely concern for the victims of war and of preparation for war, and recognition of one's religious beliefs and/or rights of conscience. Marian also stressed the possibility of lobbying being an enjoyable experience and the importance of seeing this work as a privilege and of recognizing the power of deep commitment to communicate.

Here follows a listing of some practical advice – often mixed with spiritual insights – that Marian offered for our consideration:

For those of us who are novices with regard to lobbying techniques, this workshop was an eye-opener and a confidence-builder! Thanks, Marian!