Communicating with our elected officials is the bedrock of our nation’s democracy. The job of our political leaders is to do the will of the people, and they can only do that when they hear from us. The Land Trust Alliance created the Ambassadors initiative to increase the number of land trust staff, board members, supporters and landowners who have relationships with their political representatives so that they can deliver the message of the importance of conservation to more political leaders.
What is an Ambassador?
An Ambassador is an individual affiliated with a Land Trust Alliance member land trust who has a strong desire to engage with public officials. Those with little prior exposure to advocacy and those with prior political experience are encouraged to become ambassadors.
The ability of the Alliance to affect legislation in Washington or locally depends upon a well-oiled relationship strategy at the local level. While we have lobbyists and consultants in Washington to educate legislators and keep a watchful eye on what is going on, it is not a substitute for advocacy engagement in the legislator’s home district or state.
Ambassador Program Elements
An individual at an Alliance member land trust is asked to make a pledge to follow through on the commitments listed below. This person serves as the liaison with the Alliance policy staff for the organization.
For each of the following federal officials, in each congressional term, an Ambassador pledges to arrange:
A face-to-face meeting with the senator or representative or two meetings with staff
A site visit to a conserved property or land trust event
Follow-up communication via the press, your newsletter or social media
An Ambassador agrees to participate in advocacy training opportunities as appropriate for my skill level.
An Ambassador agrees to contact my members of Congress with messages provided when requested by the Alliance (no more than three times per year).
An Ambassador agrees to provide timely reports (and pictures) of his or her advocacy work.
The Alliance will award individuals for completing their responsibilities for each two-year Congressional term and will recognize them in our e-newsletter, Saving Land magazine, on our website and at Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference.