*ILN reserves the right to not post a call to action if we feel it does not align with our principles of defending or advancing liberty or it does not follow our recommended format for calls to action.
*ILN would prefer to post calls to action for bills past the subcommittee stage due to the sheer volume of bills that will receive a hearing. If a deadline is approaching and a very important bill has not received a hearing or been voted on in Committee/Floor level then those bills will be given priority.
*Graphics/Images: A graphic or image should always accompany a call to action at the top to grab attention. It also allows people to share it easier on facebook and to recognize the call to action by this image/graphic. Graphics can be designed on various software or apps but a popular one used by many is Canva. Otherwise the image should be memorable and appropriate to the bill or action in some way.
*Describing the bill topic/title: Keep this short and succinct as a basic description.
*Always link to the bill from the legislative website bill book. www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation
*Update your call to action as it moves along in the process.
*Finding information for your call to action: To find the committee, subcommittee members, or date/time of your subcommittee hearing, look in the Bill History section in the left column of the bill’s link you referenced above. It will provide what committee it was assigned to, the subcommittee members, the meeting time, and whether it passed subcommittee. It will also show whether it has passed committee and if it was renumbered after that step. If it was renumbered it will show that new number in the Related information section under versions. You can also check out the Lobbyist Declarations and who the floor manager of the bill will be in the Related Information section.
*Finding where to publicly comment and for the zoom/webex links: To find the public comment link for your bill, go to the committee the bill is located in under www.legis.iowa.gov/committees. For subcommittee comments and zoom/webex links click on the Subcommittee (Assignments & Meetings) at the bottom of the page under Committee Information. Scroll down to your bill and push view comments. Then grab the url and add it to your call to action for where to submit public comments. Do not use hyperlinks in the CTA copy to ILN, only urls. To find the zoom/webex link click on the meeting’s date/time hyperlink and it will take you to the subcommittee meeting detail page. Copy the url for webex or zoom and paste into your call to action document.
For comment links on full committee meetings and for the zoom/webex link to watch those (no public testimony is accepted at the committee or floor levels), go back to the committee’s main page and click on the Meetings (Schedules, Agendas & Minutes) link at the bottom of the page under Committee Information. Go to the meeting where your bill is listed on the agenda and click on the comment link under the public comments column. Copy this url into your CTA for bills going to the committee stage.
*Find out when your bill will be debated on the floor: The best way to find out is through a friendly legislator or the floor manager of the bill. They can give you a heads up when it is expected to be debated. Otherwise you can check the daily debate schedule at: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/eligibleDebate. Click on the daily debate calendar for either the house or senate depending on which chamber your bill is in. They will usually publish the day’s debate schedule or the next day’s schedule once floor debate for that day is complete. It won’t give you much heads up though so your best bet is to keep in contact with a legislator passionate about your issue.
*Talking points: A bulleted list of talking points is easier to read than long paragraphs. Also spell out any acronyms, terms, or info that someone not familiar with the bill may need to know about. Always advise the audience to expand on a couple talking points from their perspective or situation rather than a copy and paste of talking points into the email.
*Signatures: Remind your audience to sign their name and where they are from, especially if one of the legislators is their representative. They need to know you are a constituent.
*Best forms of contact: Individual emails are always best but bcc can also be used for larger groups of individuals to email. In addition to that you may wish to have people call legislators to really ensure the message is heard. Emails are easiest for the general public to utilize but legislators are inundated with emails and don’t always read them. Even better is to visit with them in person at the capitol or a legislative forum. They are more likely to engage and ask questions when you are right in front of them.
*Sharing your CTA: Email your CTA to us for consideration with at least 24 hours of advanced notice. (Exceptions can be considered if something is urgent and time-sensitive) We will post the CTA on our website and public Facebook page, then you can share from there or post to your own public Facebook page. Before sharing it in private groups you should have it posted on a public page, unless the content is private but if that is the case you won’t be sending it to us either. This makes it easy for others to share their local groups since not all groups or Iowans who want to take action are in your private group. If you do not have a public Facebook page to utilize and ILN chooses to post it on our website/facebook page you can instead share it from there. Make the initial CTA post in a word or google document first so that once it is copied onto Facebook you can share the CTA from your document into other modes of communication, such as email, signal, telegram, etc.
*Final notes: The easier you make the post to share and the more user-friendly your content is, the more likely people will see it and take action. Getting the post to multiple groups and pages is critical to expand your reach. It’s easier to do that if you have a compelling, easy to follow CTA that is easy to share. The group leader should not have to edit or add any missing info unless they choose to make edits to fit their audience.