Shreya V. – BASIS Scottsdale

BASIS Scottsdale Senior Shreya V.

Lobbying for Likes: Transforming Social Perceptions of Lobbyists

Project/blog link: Lobbying for Likes: Transforming Social Perceptions of Lobbyists
BASIS Advisor: Mr. Dana Johnson
Internship location: Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Onsite Mentor: Mr. Glenn Hamer, Director

Project Abstract

Otto von Bismarck once said, “To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.” This negative view about the legislative process is one commonly held by the general public, particularly when lobbyists are involved. Lobbyists are plainly agents of change—they speak to legislators in an effort to shape policies for what they believe is positive change. Though there are some lobbyists who act out of greed or corruption in questionable ways, most lobbyists are indispensable to the legislative process, giving some speed to the slow-moving body that is the government. Besides providing me with firsthand experiences with lobbying at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, my project will address these views, analyzing the negative social perceptions associated with lobbyists by surveying the public, elected officials, and lobbyists themselves about their perceptions of lobbying. In these surveys, participants will be asked to rate their satisfaction with an unnamed lobbyist’s work (presented as a short vignette). Elected officials and lobbyists who have better experience with these issues will be given more obscure stories of lobbyists’ work to minimize bias. Finally, participants will be asked to rate their overall impression of lobbying along with a rating of how significant they believe lobbying is in the legislative process. Using this research, we hope to discover how to improve this problem and hopefully, work to transform negative perceptions of lobbyists.

Lobbying for Likes: Transforming Social Perceptions of Lobbyists