Lobbyist, former legislator to teach students to talk to decision makers

by Tyler Gieseke

In anticipation of Support the U Day at the Capitol this week, student leaders at the University of Minnesota are hosting an event to teach students how to talk effectively to legislators.

The Pre-Support the U Day Workshop will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Coffman Memorial Union's room 235. An email to those registered for Support the U Day was sent early Tuesday morning reminding them of the event.

Presenters at the workshop include a professional lobbyist and a former state legislator turned University faculty member, said Minnesota Student Legislative Coalition Chair Matt Forstie.

Students will have the chance to learn and practice a step-by-step process in having an effective lobbying meeting, Forstie said, from giving an introduction to presenting data and requesting the legislator to act.     

"[These workshops] give people the tools they need," he said, adding that the skills are transferrable to persuasive communication outside of lobbying.

Steve Kelley, a faculty member in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a former state legislator, will offer insights from the decision maker's side of the lobbying equation, Forstie said.

"We're excited to have him there as well."