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Apr 09 2019

Watch: How to be a Citizen Advocate

Get the inside scoop on how YOU can help protect Montana's wild public lands


Back in January, at the start of the 2019 legislative session, I hit the road. My plan was to stop in six different communities and share some inside knowledge about how regular Montanans - people like you and me - could advocate effectively for our public lands and wild places during the session. 

I met so many wonderful people on my tour, and heard great feedback about the presentations - such great feedback, in fact, that I decided to host an online version of what I’d started calling our civic engagement training. We had around 50 people sign up for the first round, which blew away my expectations. Now I’m making the presentation available to everyone who wants to become a more effective public lands advocate. 

So, without further ado, check out the entire presentation below. Use the timestamps below the video to jump to specific topics.


1:22 - What is civic engagement?

3:22 - How does the state legislative process work?

8:55 - What’s a choking point? What’s the difference between a bill, a resolution, and a referendum?

15:16 - When should I contact my legislators?

16:33 - What is MWA’s priority legislation during the session?

28:30 - How can I contact my elected officials?

36:03 - How else can I show up and speak up? 

38:08 - How can I avoid activist burnout?

40:11 - How do I get involved with MWA?

42:05 - Main takeaways

43:30 - Q+A with Senator Pat Flowers and MWA lobbyist Noah Marion

1:06:05 - Closing thoughts

I hope you find it useful. If you have any questions or comments you can reach me at jfoster@wildmontana.org or 406-370-4450.

- Jacob Foster, MWA public lands field organizer

Jacob Foster