State Lobby Team


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Every year the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club has a presence at the state legislature. Not only do we have a lobbyist, but we have numerous volunteers who help talk with legislators and go to hearings and committee meetings. All volunteers are welcome to participate in this process. If you want to be on our alert list for notices throughout the legislative session on bills of importance, please contact Scott Banbury at or call me at 901-619-8567.  

Lobbying Guidance:

Ten Basic Tips for the Occasional Lobbyist
Tips For In-Person Visits

Past Legislative Reports:



Feel free to contact the Tennessee Chapter Legislative Committee with your concerns:

David Bordenkircher, Legislative Committee Chair
Bill Moll, Chapter Conservation Chair
Scott Banbury, Conservation Program Coordinator and Lobbyist

Suggested rules of etiquette for contacting your state legislator:

1. Personal visits, letters, phone calls, emails are all ways to contact your legislator in order of preference. If you live far away from Nashville and cannot make a personal visit, please write or call.

2. If you call, you may be asked whether you are a constituent (it is better if you are, but OK if you are not). Be sure to know the bill number you are calling about, e.g., HB 0000 or SB0000, depending on whether your legislator is in the State Senate or the House.

3. You may be asked to give your reasons for supporting or opposing a bill. Whoever answers the phone will not be interested in a long-winded explanation. Be prepared and keep it simple.

4. Keep your facts accurate. Do not rely on hearsay or emotion or opinion based on personal preference. Use facts and reason.

5. Be respectful. Address and refer to the legislator as Senator Blank or Representative Blank or just “Senator” or “Representative” unless you are personal friends.

6. Always be courteous, even if you are feeling strongly on the inside. Keep your emotions and angry language in check. You gain nothing by being insulting, except perhaps a permanent enemy.

The personal visit:

1. Establish a personal relationship if possible. Relationships are extremely important in the legislature and your legislator needs to know whether he/she can trust you.

2. Be sure to let him/her know if you are a constituent. Thank him/her for past good votes and honors received from organizations that you value.

3. Make an appointment ahead of time if possible. If you drop in, there is no guarantee you will get to see him/her. Do not hesitate to meet with staffers if the legislator is unavailable. Secretaries and interns are also deserving of your friendly greetings and inquiries.

4. Keep your visit short and low key, no threats, harsh language, insults about anyone. Just the facts and reason.

5. Come with an information sheet. They keep these and look at them. Phone numbers and references to information sources can be included.

6. Quell your cell.

7. Dress neatly and professionally.

8. No matter what they say, thank them for the opportunity to meet with them.

Visit: the Tennessee General Assembly Website.