In this series, we offer tips on how you as a voter can successfully lobby your elected officials during the Arkansas Legislature.

Politics doesn’t always run on logic. It runs on relationships. And being polite is an important first step in establishing a good relationship with your elected officials. If you come across as rude or mean spirited, lawmakers will be much less likely to really listen to you than if you smile and are polite. I guarantee that Rep. Bob Smith (a fictitious lawmaker I just made up) will not want to work with you if he sees you standing in a crowd of people chanting “Bye bye Bob” when he kicks off his re-election campaign. There are times when it’s appropriate to have serious conversations with your representatives, but when it comes to making first impressions, a warm smile and friendly handshake go a long way.