Christy Goes to Washington

Feeling the post-election blahs? Get over it! You can still make a difference by lobbying for a great cause. Marie Claire's new contributing editor Christy Turlington Burns shows you how.

Most Popular
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Let's face it: Lobbyists have an image problem. It sounds like a job where you're either furthering the interests of zillionaires or hanging around in . . . lobbies. But there are other kinds of lobbyists - do-gooders who bug lawmakers to pass legislation that helps, say, the environment or women in need.

Anyone, including you, can do it. To see how, we followed Christy Turlington Burns - Marie Claire's new contributing editor - to Capitol Hill, as she pushed for a Senate resolution to support a cause close to her heart: maternal health. The mom of two has been working hard with the humanitarian group CARE to raise awareness for women who don't have access to clinics or basic necessities for a safe birth. "More than 500,000 lives are lost around the world each year in pregnancy or childbirth," says Turlington Burns. "In some places, it's like a death sentence to get pregnant."

Most Popular

Looking low-key in black jeans, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, Turlington Burns flew under the radar while she made her way through the halls of the Senate, passing clean-cut aides in seersucker suits (it was Seersucker Day in D.C., we learned). On the agenda: meetings with senators to gather support for the maternal health resolution (called S.Res.616), which outlines the scope of the problem and serves as the first step in an eventual push for legislation.

So how can you lobby for a good cause? Hook up with groups like CARE or Amnesty International to learn about policies they're lobbying for. Then contact your state legislators and get on their calendars. Yup, you can make a date with them - you're a voter. You might end up meeting with an assistant out in the hallway, but don't be discouraged; that person has the boss's ear. Keep your message concise, then ask for the official's support. Most important? Try not to be too wonky: Don't rattle off so many facts and figures that the person zones out. "It's the personal conversation that people remember," says Turlington Burns, who talked to senators about visiting her mother's homeland of El Salvador. "Find something meaningful that opens the door."

Thanks in part to the efforts of Turlington Burns, the Senate resolution was approved in October.

christy-care-washington-2-th.jpgCHRISTY'S NEW GIG

As a Marie Claire contributor, Christy will take on a globe-trotting mission to fight for mothers. Click here to read her personal journal of her lobbying trips to D.C.

Photo: Erin Lubin/CARE

More from Marie Claire:
GIF
Politics
Share
Updating Live: Tracking Donald Trump's First 100 Days in Office
Sexist billboard
Politics
Share
A Billboard in North Carolina Insinuates "Real Women" Don't Want Gender Equality
secular pro-life anti-abortion millennial women
Politics
Share
Meet the Pro-Life Millennials
Letter about equal pay written by Utah's Wasatch GOP chair James C. Green.
Politics
Share
Justice Tastes So Sweet: This Republican Politician Resigned After Saying Equal Pay for Women Is Unfair to Men
Golf course
Politics
Share
Trump Has Spent More Time Golfing Than Going to Intelligence Briefings
Politics
Share
Police Arrest DAPL Protestors at Standing Rock for Defying Evacuation Deadline
Politics
Share
Celebrities Voice Their Opposition to Trump's Decision to Lift Protections for Trans Students
Kellyanne Conway
Politics
Share
Kellyanne Conway Is Reportedly Being "Sidelined" from Appearing on TV
President Donald Trump waves as he arrives on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport to spend part of the weekend at Mar-a-Lago resort.
Politics
Share
Trump Has Spent as Much on Travel in a Month as Obama Did in a Year
Politics
Share
Texas Judge Blocks State from Cutting Medicaid Funds for Planned Parenthood