The Conservation Action Team program
—make the most of making a difference
For over a decade the Virginia League of Conservation Voters-Education Fund and the Virginia Conservation Network have partnered to organize the Conservation Action Team program (originally known as the Legislative Contact Team program). Action Team members are community leaders who become Virginia LCV’s voice for conservation with their legislators throughout the year, in their home districts as well as when they’re in Richmond. We recognize that the importance of relationships never fades no matter how the technology of communication changes, and that too often legislators learn their constituents’ names only when they’re attached to a complaint or a demand at a time when they have the least attention to offer–in the mad rush of the General Assembly session.
Action Team members build constructive relationships with their legislators, each hearing the other’s concerns and point of view as part of a mutual conversation. The result is an elected official far more receptive to friendly and familiar messengers (and their message) and to working with Virginia LCV-EF as a valued partner.
What can I expect to do as a Conservation Action Team member?
- Meet with their senator or delegate in their home district to discuss local issues and policy priorities.
- Invite their legislator to community social occasions and attend their legislator’s own events.
- May host a recognition event in their district when their senator or delegate turns in a stellar conservation voting record during the General Assembly (with our help of course!)
- Help us hold lawmakers accountable when they fall short.
- Submit letters to the editor or op-eds to their local newspapers.
- Contact their legislators at crucial decision points when a call from a respected conservation leader and constituent changes outcomes.
A Team may be an individual or a small group with a designated team leader who takes responsibility for keeping the team members in touch with each other and organizing their activities.
Ultimately it’s the team members themselves who are the best judges of what is most effective in their communities and we welcome your ideas, suggestions, and initiatives.
What kind of help will my team get from VALCV-EF and VCN?
Becca Summers is our full-time staffer dedicated to the Conservation Action Team program. We provide print and online tools to guide your Action Team work. Together our organizations offer year-round trainings, workshops, conference calls and special events such as Legislative Preview Day in December and Conservation Lobby Day in January. We focus not just on becoming better educated about problems and policies, but also on honing the skills necessary to be effective advocates.
How do I get started?
Just call or send a message: Virginia League of Conservation Voters–Education Fund, 804-225-1902 or email@example.com.