Bird-dogging 101: how to hold your legislators accountable

With all eyes focusing on Iowa’s legislative session, we have the power to shift the debate and show folks who are sick and tired of business as usual politics that we are in this together. We have the power to lift up our agenda – an agenda that puts communities before corporations and people before polluters, profits, and politics.

By confronting state legislators in our communities around the state we can force them to address our issues, and expose them when they won’t. We can raise our agenda in the media, and show the folks across the state that we have common sense solutions to the problems facing our state and country – not the extreme measures that some will be proposing.

It is simple, fun, and will help us build our power – both in terms of people power and in terms of political clout.

You and other  members in your neck of the woods will be asked at strategic times when legislators will be in your area to turn out and raise our issues.  We won’t take political speak for an answer. We’ll demand that elected officials adopt our agenda or be held accountable.

What is Bird-dogging?

  • Bird-dogging is a great tactic used to directly engage or confront candidates and elected officials on our issues at their public events. It lets them know how important these issues are to everyday people.
  • The goal of bird-dogging is to put tough questions to elected officials or candidates and force them to answer when they are in front of their constituents, voters, and the media.
  • Bird-dogging can be used to make sure candidates and elected officials can’t escape these important issues and that we are setting the terms of the debate.
  • Bird-dogging is fun and easy! Just show up at local events and make sure you are ready to ask questions. CCI Action staff can help you prepare to bird-dog and coordinate with others in your area.

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