Low-income advocates of the Crossroads Urban Center are calling on average citizens to compete in a citizen-lobbying contest at the Utah State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Schmooze with the most legislators about poverty issues like Medicaid funding, for example, and you could win a coveted Schmoozie award.---
The 2012 legislative session officially starts on Monday, Jan. 23, but Tuesday is game day for all of you would-be poverty advocates who have yet to get off the sidelines and get up to the Hill to talk with legislators about the laws and policies that affect Utah’s most vulnerable citizens. On Tuesday, you can show up and pick an official scorecard for the contest and begin schmoozing. If you’ve never done citizen lobbying before, you can ask some of the schmoozie-contest operators for tips, or check out City Weekly's citizen-lobbying guide.
As for the contest, judges are looking for contestants to talk to as many legislators as possible about certain focus areas such as increasing Medicaid funding for dental benefits; a bill that creates a tax credit for employers who hire the homeless, sponsored by Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City; or Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck’s bill proposal to change the name of the Utah Food Stamps Program. More points are earned for talking with legislators who sit on committees with jurisdiction over these issues.
Participants just need to show up at the Utah State Capitol Rotunda, at 350 N. State, Salt Lake City starting at 10 a.m. to pick up scorecards. For more information, contact Bill Tibbitts, the anti-hunger-project director of the Crossroads Urban Center at 801-364-7765 extension 107