More important than ever – positive policy change on the state level. Here’s what professional and volunteer lobbyists and organizers are saying about the newly-released 2018 edition of Lobbying on a Shoestring, by Judith C. Meredith and Margaret E. Monsell:

Making effective and lasting change is harder than ever but doable. Activists must go on the offensive, and with skill, fight for justice in the halls of local government and state capitals. The Union of Minority Neighborhoods has used Lobbying on a Shoestring for years to train community advocates on how to address issues impacting their lives in the Massachusetts State Legislature and the Governor’s office. Judy Meredith and Margaret Monsell have written the DEFINITIVE book on how to make change.  Activists and change agents:  GET THIS BOOK TODAY! — READ IT! — USE IT! — WIN!

Horace Small, Union of Minority Neighborhoods


Lobbying is hard. Lobbying on a Shoestring makes it a little easier. Written in plain language that even community organizers can understand, this guide is invaluable when considering a legislative campaign. You are going to need energy, patience, perseverance, resources — and this book!

Thomas Callahan, Executive Director
Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance

Judy Meredith is a superb advocate who knows the Legislature inside out, which is a good thing because that is how it’s conducted most of the time.

Barney Frank, US Congressman


Want to make a difference but don’t know how? Lobbying on a Shoestring is a fun, easy-to-read, effective guide to public policy lobbying as seen through the eyes and experience of two Massachusetts political pros. A “must” read for anyone who wants to develop a winning policy campaign that is as relevant for local and national issues as it is at the state level.

Senator Harriette L. Chandler, Massachusetts Senate President Emerita


Lobbying on a Shoestring is a smart, comprehensive step-by- step guide to winning legislation.  Its description of the legislative process… is masterful.  A must-read for anyone interested in promoting and passing public policy.

Sandy Felder
Labor Consultant Past President SEIU 509
Past AFL-CIO National Field Director


There’s power, mystery, and myth at the State House, where laws are passed or killed and budget needs can be met or ignored. Lobbying on a Shoestring cuts through the mystery. It gives you a step-by-step strategy and research plan for your own campaign on bills and budget issues. It helps you organize your power to engage legislators in doing what’s needed for their districts… Your commitment — plus your organization –plus the advice in this book — equals a path toward justice

Lewis Finfer
Co-Director Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN)

The brilliant advice and sage wisdom of Judy Meredith and Margaret Monsell finds a powerful home in the 4thEdition of “Lobbying on a Shoestring.”  I can vouch for the fact that their guidance leads to progressive policy outcomes in City Hall, the State House and the United States Congress. Whether you have laces or buckles on your shoes, “Lobbying on a Shoestring” is a must read.

Ali Noorani
National Immigration Forum

Lobbying on a Shoestring is an extremely valuable resource. I use it to help staff, consumers and colleagues better understand what they need to do to get what they want from the political process.  What could be more important than that in these dark times?  Lobbying is a living tool everyone in human services should have on their desks to refer to over and over and over again.

Dale Mitchell
Executive Director Ethos


Lobbying on a Shoestring is the gold standard for learning how to understand and effectively navigate government on all levels… Every high school in this country should teach a course on civics using this publication. As I always say, a democracy only works when its people takes part. Lobbying on a Shoestring empowers its readers to take part!

Kathleen Bitetti
Artist and Co-founder of
Healthcare for Artists
Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition

Thanks to the steps and advice laid out in Lobbying, the coalition I coordinated was able to expand access for all children covered under MassHealth and even got the legislature to establish a commission to look at the importance of good oral hygiene.  Typically lobbyists don’t want to share their knowledge so this book is not only a true gift but a vital tool for anyone wanting to make change happen.

Allison Staton
Community Activist


Whatever your political stripes, you should heed this practical, well-tested and on-the-mark lobbying advice. Even for those with resources to spare, the tips and tools [in this book] will prove invaluable.


Jane Swift
Former Massachusetts Governor

Lobbying on a Shoestring served as an inspiring and essential guide to our work at Health Care for All.


Chip Joffe-Halpern, Executive Director
Ecu-Health Care, Inc.


Lobbying’s “rules” are a great guide for anyone interested in advancing public policy. Effective lobbying begins with identifying strong legislative champions and then finding “hero opportunities” for these individuals, especially with their constituents and key stakeholders. The rule about getting the right information, to the right people (often key staff), at the right time is also important for anyone seeking to influence the legislature. Finally, Lobbying’s advice about developing a coalition of like-minded stakeholders to advance legislation is a key strategy for anyone hoping to successfully push forward their legislative priorities.

Lora Pelligrini, President CEO
Mass Association of Health Plans


I always respect anyone who makes the effort to exercise their right to advocate for their beliefs… Organization, attitude and patience are always appreciated and respected, and these are the qualities that Lobbying on a Shoestring


Kathi Reinstein
Former State Representative

Small businesses can be among the most effective lobbying constituencies at any level of government, yet they often lack the knowledge, time and organizational tools to win consistently on their issues.  Lobbying on a Shoestring provides the road map desperately needed by Main Street employers and local chambers of commerce to protect, promote and preserve their economic futures.

Jon Hurst, President
Retailers Association of Massachusetts


One can think of the legislative process like a board game – if you have enough chips you win! Legislative strategy is about accumulating enough chips.  All legislators have some “chips”, or “political capital.”  Not all legislators have the same amount of political capital, or political chips.  Generally, the most powerful legislative leaders have a lot, and consequently can get most of what they want. However, it’s often difficult to get them to allocate their political chips on your behalf.  Many rank and file legislators have only a few political chips, but it is easier to get them to “spend” on your cause.  Unfortunately, it often takes an overwhelming number of rank and file legislators supporting your cause to win, if the leadership does not support you.  Therefore, winning legislative strategy is about putting together the right combination of rank and file legislators with some leadership support. Judy Meredith was my mentor, and business partner, many years ago.  Lobbying on a Shoestring was my text book.  Working with Judy, I learned how to put together a winning legislative strategy. You can too.

Jackson Hall, Veteran
Political Advantage, LLC

Lobbying on a Shoestring is a comprehensive and easily understood guidebook to the political process. Neophytes and experienced activists can benefit from employing the basic principles outlined. These tools of civic engagement are essential to the launch of a successful lobbying campaign.


Susan A. Wojtas
Former staff City of Boston Governmental Relations
Woman of International Mystery


Lobbying on a Shoestring is a must-read for anyone trying to insert the voice of people and community into the policy making process. With clear guidance, concrete examples and a refreshing dose of the authors irreverent humor, Lobbying equips change makers with the tools and perspective to make an impact. –

Deb Halliday ,Halliday & Assoc
Helena, Montana


I was first introduced to Lobbying on a Shoestring when I was 24 years old and hired to serve as the Political Director for SEIU Local 615. I could not be more grateful that it was put in my hands. It contained all the answers to how to lobby the legislature that I was too afraid to ask out loud or to young to know what question I should be asking. First thing, being a lobbyist isn’t bad! In fact most progressive legislation comes to bear by organizing people and effective lobbying of elected and appointed officials.

Some of the key points in Lobbying on a shoestring I used throughout my career in public and community service. Most importantly the hero moment. Many public officials actually do want to do good and, yes, when they do good they as many people as possible to know about. Provide a public official an opportunity to a hero moment and you would be surprised how often they will rise to the occasion. Throughout my time working for SEIU Local 615 the hero moment was my most effective tool.

Additionally, like many people, public officials will sometimes behave differently when being watched. I used this principle as often as possible when I served on the Boston City Council as often as I could get constituents to attend hearing or council meetings where votes were being taken I would.

Lastly, the state legislature is a complicated place with many written and unwritten rules and norms that you didn’t learn in civics class, if you were lucky enough to go to a school that teaches civics. The newest edition of Lobbying on Shoestring teaches all of us, in plain language, how that building really works. They say knowledge is power, this book give a whole bunch of everyday people the knowledge they need to exercise their power to effectuate change.

Long story short, read this manual if you have any interest in creating change through legislation. You’ll thank me later for asking you to.

I still talk about the hero opportunity it works in all kinds of situations

Felix G Arroyo
Former City Counselor City of Boston

The authors know how information and mentoring act like oxygen to a slow burning candle and fuels it into a bright flame that blends one’s intuitive sense, timing, and movement into power. It happened to me and at the h time, I hadn’t known how I might grow into a leadership role into the movement that I was part of. Lobbying is the peoples blue print for turning frustrations into movements into building power into actual change.

Signed discovered by Judy
Lydia Edwards
>Former Lobbyist for Mass Coalition for Domestic Workers
Boston City Counselor

“Lobbying on a Shoestring is a valuable resource for any individual or coalition interested in gaining the skills necessary to navigate the complicated legislative process and having more productive relationships within the State House.”

Onward and Upward,
Good for you, keep up the great work!
Deb Faustino
Executive Director, Coalition for Social Justice


Lobbying on a Shoestring is the quintessential “how to” guide to lobbying for the non-profit world.  It is as relevant now as it was 38 years ago and gives those with some, little or no lobbying experience the tools to lobby, organize, teach and guide.  It makes the world of lobbying understandable, navigable and actually exciting!

Elizabeth A Soule
Executive Director
Metrowest Legal Services


This should be required reading for every nonprofit advocate, community organizer, concerned citizen looking to harness their individual power to affect change, etc.

Also, it should be added to the Foundations syllabus for UEP. (Do they still teach that class?)

Eugenia Gibbons
Green Energy Consumers Alliance
Environmental League of Massachusetts

       Oh! No! No! No! Not again! Judy’s book lets too many State House secrets out in the open. It makes it very difficult to use and mislead non profit advocates. Book should be banned. Do not buy this book!

David McKenzie  Former Staff Senate Ways and Means