Conference Delivers Hands-On Advocacy Experience

Dozens of county officials engaged in a hands-on advocacy workshop at MACo’s winter conference – focusing on messaging and protocol before Annapolis legislative committees.

Friday afternoon’s session, “The County Official’s Guide to Lobbying in Annapolis” involved two groups of county participants taking on real-life examples of issues faced by counties. Working with two General Assembly panelists — Delegate Steve Arentz and Delegate-elect Debra Davis — the participants crafted their message, and delivered brief testimony to the legislators who sat as a mock committee panel. Veteran Annapolis lobbyist Patrick Roddy, onetime lead legislative liaison for Baltimore County government, moderated the session and acted in the role of “Chairman” for the mock panelists.

MACo’s Winter Conference focused broadly on expanding skill sets for newly elected county officials, and closed out with a strong policy focus. Friday morning’s General Assembly Forecast featured powerful players in the legislature discussing their priorities and predictions for the year ahead. The county advocacy session followed afterward, giving many county officials insight into their personal role and potential.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties