Chapter 3: Developing a Legislative Campaign

Now that you are familiar with the legislative process in your state, and understand the political landscape, you may be interested in organizing a campaign to pass pro-democracy reform in your state.

The first step to developing a legislative campaign is to map the pathway to victory.

Creating a Pathway to Victory

  • Put your plan together

    The resources in this section provide templates that can be used to document the information you learned from the first two steps in this toolkit. Once you have all the research you need, you are ready to develop your pathway to victory.

    Use this template to put your plan together.

    Need an example? Check out this completed template here. For more information about state legislatures, visit Project Vote Smart, and Ballotpedia.

  • Identify allies

    As you map the pathway to victory, a key step is identifying legislators who could serve as allies or even sponsors for the bill. The sponsor of the legislation should be its highest-ranking supporter. Use this identifying sponsor document to help you identify and recruit sponsors for the legislation. As you build relationships with legislators, utilize these best practices, which will be useful throughout the legislative process and beyond.

  • Get the votes

    Next, you can develop your plan to get the votes, both within the committee and in the full chamber. Information obtained from the power mapping and research processes will be useful to develop a plan. Use this How to Get the Votes template to help you.

  • Prepare for opposition

    Of course, any campaign should prepare for opposition. This document asks you to consider where the opposition is most likely to come from and how to develop some strategies to mitigate the impact of opposition.

  • Track your bill

    Once your bill is introduced you’ll need to track it every step of the way. Use this bill tracker to help you.