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Advocacy Training Available for Non Profit Board Members or Membership

Posted By Cindy Bishop, Checkmate Strategies, Tuesday, January 16, 2018



Are You Protected for 2018?   Nonprofit Organizations are essential to Louisiana because they provide needed services and allow citizens to have a voice in the public policy arena. Unfortunately, Louisiana is now facing a tremendous budget deficit and state funding is at risk.  This Friday the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget will get to hear the Edwards Administration proposed budget for FY 2018-2019.


Checkmate Strategies can  help your nonprofit with advocacy training, if needed.


Advocacy 101 Training: Knowing the players is important one thing.

Knowing how to effectively influence their decisions is critical for your success is a whole other ball game.


Checkmate Strategies is available to provide an Advocacy 101 training program for you and your board of directors or your membership to provide tips on how to influence the Louisiana Legislature.


For more information,   please contact Cindy Bishop: (225) 933-5435

Tags:  advocacy 

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Gearing up for the 2017 Legislative Session(s)

Posted By Cindy Bishop, Checkmate Strategies, Thursday, February 2, 2017



From: Checkmate Strategies []

Subject: A Note from Cindy Bishop ~ Checkmate Strategies




January 25, 2017


The 2017 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature will be here before we know it. The fiscal only session begins on Monday, April 10th. 2017 being an odd numbered year will have a sixty day fiscal only session. However, lawmakers can file up to five non-fiscal bills. That alone gives us the possibility of monitoring 720 non-fiscal (general) bills during the upcoming Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature.


Additionally, Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to call state lawmakers into a two-week special session in mid-February to address a budget deficit of $300 million for the current fiscal year.


The Regular Legislative Session will begin on Monday, April 10, 2017 and must adjourn no later than 6 PM on June 8, 2017

* Pre-filing deadline - 3/31 5 PM

* Late Filing deadline for the House - Tuesday, 4/18 6 PM

* Late Filing deadline for the Senate - Tuesday, 4/18 6 PM


Checkmate Strategies is poised to help you and your members succeed this year. We provide customized advocacy training for board members, volunteers and staff.

Advocacy Training.pdf

Additionally, Checkmate Strategies provides legislative tracking services and lobbying.

We are blessed that Checkmate Strategies will celebrate our 22nd year in operation on February lst of this year. We have had the privilege to work on many high profile legislative campaigns and have a track record of success. Both Cindy Bishop, President and Michael Willis, VP of Business Development, are registered lobbyists and we spend our days at the Louisiana State Capitol every day that the state lawmakers are in legislative session.

David Roberson serves as our Director of Operations and he also is a registered lobbyist. Sarah Heath handles most of the aspects of our association management operation including membership recruitment and retention, communications, financial management and website management.

We would love the opportunity to work with you and help you to instill your values and ideals into the Legislative Process.



Most Sincerely,

Cindy Bishop, President

Checkmate Strategies

(225) 933-5435 Cell



Tags:  advocacy  advocacy training  legislation  legislative relations 

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Advocacy Training Available to Non Profits and Businesses

Posted By Cindy Bishop, Checkmate Strategies, Monday, October 3, 2016



Knowing that there is a tremendous need among nonprofit organizations and Louisiana businesses to create and sustain effective, impactful advocacy programs, Checkmate Strategies is now offering advocacy training.  Imagine how the influence your nonprofit or business could have, if you provided your members or your board leadership with customized training on how to impact public policy! 

The 2017 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature will be here before we know it and now is the perfect time to begin planning a successful legislative campaign.  We all know it is better to be pro-active rather than reactive. Checkmate Strategies will tailor a half day (3-5 hours) or a full day program, with special rates for LSAE members.  We can also tailor a program for your specific needs


The following components will be covered in the Advocacy Training Session:

The Importance of Knowing the Players and the Process

Who are the Players?

Overview of the Legislative Process

The Importance of Knowing Your Organizations “Why”

How to Weave Impactful  Stories into your Advocacy Message

The Role of Regulatory Agencies and How they Impact Your Non-Profit or Business

How to Use PACS Effectively



Checkmate Strategies has a long and  rich history of advocating on behalf of non-profit organizations. We have represented such high profile issues as the Smoke Free Air Act, the Primary Seat Belt Law, the Child Passenger Safety Act, the Concealed Carry Bill and we were successful in changing public policy on each of these legislative campaigns. 

Cindy is a veteran of Louisiana politics with over two decades of experience. Earl Willis is equally passionate about helping nonprofit organizations and businesses to thrive and excel.  


Call today to schedule an advocacy training with Checkmate Strategies.  


Reach Cindy Bishop at (225) 933-5435 or Earl Michael Willis at (225) 454-2209  (cindy Bishop)


Tags:  Advocacy  grassroots  grasstops  legislation  legislature 

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Are You Protected for 2016 ?

Posted By Cindy Bishop, Checkmate Strategies, Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Are You Protected for 2016 ?

Non-Profit Organizations are essential to Louisiana in that they allow citizens to have a voice in the public policy arena. Unfortunately, Louisiana is facing a tremendous budget deficit and all state funding will be on the table.  Checkmate Strategies is here to work with you, to insure that your monies stays safe, so you can continue to provide high quality services and products to the citizens of our great state.  We understand the vitality of non-profits and believe that everyone should have the fairest chance possible to make a difference. Please look over some of the services we offer for your protection.  We love to fight for noble causes and to share our clients’ passion and commitment.  Checkmate Strategies can also help you put new public policies into place or change old policies.  With a new Administration comes new opportunities, but with a tremendous budget deficit looming ahead, we know the importance of putting a process in place now to protect your mission.

Legislative Bill Tracking, Monitoring and Communication:

During 2016, not counting special session(s), the Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature will last for 85 days.  One of the utmost important items to guarantee protection is information. Checkmate Strategies will commit to giving you a weekly update on legislation impacting your Non-Profit organization. In this weekly enewsletter, we will include information on the status of legislation, how legislators voted on these bills and a schedule of when legislation of interest will be considered by the Louisiana Legislature. What you don’t know can hurt your organization.

Advocacy 101 Training:

Knowing the players is one thing. Knowing how to effectively influence their decisions is a whole other ball game. Checkmate Strategies has the ability to travel to your Association, or your conference to conduct an Advocacy 101 training seminar. This will teach your members how to influence the Louisiana Legislature.   Additionally we can conduct this training electronically through a webinar.

Lobbying Services:

What better way to guarantee success than having a lobbyist at the State Capitol every day looking out for you and your best interests.  Checkmate Strategies offers to be on retainer to your nonprofit organization to protect your interests.  With Checkmate Strategies, realize that you are investing in a team that has great personal relationships with those who directly impact the legislative process. We have advocated issues and successfully protected the interests of over 50 companies and nonprofit organizations in the last 20 years.

We would love to conduct a complimentary assessment for your nonprofit organization.

To schedule or if you have any questions, please contact Cindy Bishop:  (225) 933-5435 

Tags:  advocacy  communications 

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Advocacy 101 - Framing Your Message for Effective Communications

Posted By Cindy Bishop, Checkmate Strategies, Wednesday, November 4, 2015
We would like to offer your non profit association an opportunity to provide an advocacy training program to your members or stakeholders.  We can customize our three (3) hour presentation to meet the needs of your Association and its' members.  
Advocacy 101: The Basics of Communicating Effectively with Public Policy Makers teaches how to frame your message to influence public policy makers.

  • Topics include the composition of the state legislature  
  • who to call
  • when to call
  • what to say to get your message across effectively

About l/3 of the Louisiana Legislature will change in January when the term limited and retiring legislators leave office and the newly elected lawmakers are sworn in  

Considering the state is facing a tremendous budget deficit and we are getting a new administration in January, the time is now to gear up for the regular and special legislative sessions.  We predict that the new governor will call one, possibly two, special sessions of the state legislature between January through June. If your association retains a lobbyist,  we can work with them to optimize this presentation. 
Attached is more information about Checkmate Strategies  as well as information on our Advocacy Training 101.  With the new Administration coming in January 2016,   we can work with you to schedule a customized presentation.
My contact information is (225) 933-5435 or  


Download File (DOC)

 Attached Files:

Tags:  advocacy  communication  legislation  lobbying 

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Bike Baton Rouge Monthly Meeting.

Posted By Beaux Jones, Bike Baton Rouge, Sunday, November 23, 2014

On the eve of the Metro Council's Complete Street vote we will be holding our November Meeting at Chelsea's Cafe. (note: we will be on the non-food side)

If you can spare 10 mins, great! If you can stay for an hour, even better! We will be introducing our newest board members and hearing what they hope to bring to the table.

We will also be discussing:
-Complete Streets implementation Strategy
-Bike Racks around the city
-the Downtown Greenway
-the BREC 10 year Plan
-Statewide advocacy group
and most importantly our long-term strategic plan. 

Hope to see you there.

To learn more about Bike Baton Rouge, visit

Tags:  advocacy  community  complete streets 

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Public Affairs Research Council Now Offers Popular Resources Free of Charge

Posted By Matthew Ray, Public Affairs Research Council, Sunday, March 23, 2014



The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana is pleased to announce that the popular PAR Guide to the Legislature and other PAR resources are now available as a FREE mobile app for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Search for "PAR Guide" at the Apple or Google app stores on your smart phone and download The PAR Guide 2014 today. This free app includes:

The Louisiana Legislature. State legislators' bio information, photo, sources of income, committee assignments and contact information, including touch dialing and email. No other legislative guide provides legislator income information.

  • Statewide offices. Bios, photos and staff contact information for Louisiana's statewide office-holders.
  • Congress. Bios, photos and staff contact information for Louisiana's Congressional delegation.
  • Guide to the Constitutional Amendments. A quick mobile version of PAR's indispensible guide to the proposals for state constitutional amendments that will appear on the ballot statewide in Fall 2014. This guide will update automatically if new amendment proposals are added during the Spring 2014 legislative session.
  • Citizen's Rights to open meetings and public records. Based on PAR's popular Citizen's Rights Card, this resource provides the essential information about Louisiana sunshine laws for state and local governments.
  • PAR News and Commentary. The latest policy insights, recommendations and news from PAR.

App content will be updated automatically throughout the year without the need for software application upgrades. Louisiana-based software developer hSoft Consulting developed the PAR app.

Ochsner Health System provided underwriting support for the PAR Guide 2014 app and the printed 2014 PAR Guide to the Louisiana Legislature.

Please pass along information about the PAR 2014 app to your friends, business colleagues and association networks. There is no cost for this useful resource!

The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan public policy research organization focused on pointing the way toward a more efficient, effective, transparent and accountable Louisiana government. PAR was founded in 1950 and is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations.

Tags:  advocacy  PAR  Policy 

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Regional Networking - Children & Family Organizations

Posted By Susan Shaffette, Team Dynamics LLC, Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The Louisiana Partnership for Children & Families and Louisiana Children's Trust Fund are going to be visiting all the regions across Louisiana. They will be holding networking meetings with organizations who work with children and families in the next several weeks. The Partnership will bring advocacy information concerning the current legislative session and LCTF will bring information about prevention and protection for children. Information about upcoming events will also be shared. We hope you will join us when we are in your neighborhood!  Baton Rouge and Florida Parishes Regions were held this week. Want to download the statewide list

Upcoming Dates:

March 24 - Monroe  2-3:30pm
March 25 - Shreveport  10-11:30am
March 25 - Alexandria  2-3:30pm
March 31 - Metairie  10-11:30am
March 31 - Houma (Gray)  2-3:30pm
April 3 - Lafayette  10-11:30am
April 3 - Lake Charles  2-3:30pm

 Attached Files:

Tags:  advocacy  child abuse  early education  meetings  parenting  regional 

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SAVE THE DATE: 2014 Disability Rights Rally

Posted By Keokah T. Sanders, Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, Friday, January 17, 2014
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New Training Offered: Advocacy 101 & Leadership

Posted By Cindy Bishop, Checkmate Strategies, Thursday, September 19, 2013


CHECKMATE STRATEGIES PRESENTS Advocacy 101, a three hour training class designed to provide attendees with an overview of navigating the legislative and regulatory process of state government and how to effectively utilize grassroots networks or direct lobbying to be effective for your organization.


Date:   OCTOBER 11, 2013


Time:   9 a.m. - 12 Noon

Fee:     $50

*451 Florida, 2lst Floor, Baton Rouge

View Larger Map

ABOUT CINDY: Cindy Bishop is the President of LANO Member Checkmate Strategies, a lobbying and association management firm headquartered in Baton Rouge. She is a registered lobbyist and the Editor and Publisher of Health Care Information Services.

Her clients include the Louisiana Assembly on School Based Health Care, the Louisiana Orthopaedic Association, the Louisiana Ambulatory Surgery Association, the Childcare Association of Louisiana, the Louisiana Meat Processors Association and Lighthouse Louisiana, Inc. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Information Technology from Loyola University of the South and earned an Associates of Science degree in Computer Science from Phillips Junior College.

She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the McMains Children’s Development Center and serves as the Leadership Seminar Chair of the Louisiana Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program. She was the charter President of the Twilight Rotary Club and served in various leadership roles in the Baton Rouge Jaycees.

Tags:  advocacy  Baton Rouge  How-To  louisiana  nonprofit  non-profits  workshop 

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