Access Living RFP for State Legislative Lobbyist Services


Request for Proposal: State Legislative Lobbyist Services


Access Living is a disability rights and services organization based in Chicago. We are the Center for Independent Living (CIL) assigned to serve people with disabilities living in the City of Chicago; our advocacy work takes place on the local, state, and national levels. Visit for more information about our work. We are also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and follow all applicable laws related to lobbying and are a nonpartisan organization.

Access Living is requesting proposals to contract with a lobbyist to represent Access Living for the period of July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022 with possibility for renewal for FY23 (7/1/22 – 6/30/23). Access Living seeks a strong lobbyist who is a team player with sound knowledge of Illinois budgetary issues, human services policy with an emphasis on Medicaid, a clear understanding of the legislative process, and effective communication skills. Familiarity with disability issues is preferred.

Scope of Services:

Access Living seeks to retain the services of a lobbyist to work with the Director of Advocacy and the Advocacy Department to address matters in which Access Living needs professional assistance before the Illinois State Legislature, individual State Legislators, the Illinois Governor, and other state agencies. State lobbying services will include (but are not limited to) the following:


  • Assist Access Living in the development and implementation of its legislative agenda, key proposals, and policy positions in partnership with Access Living advocacy staff and leadership; 
  • Propose an annual strategic advocacy and political engagement plan designed to achieve legislative goals and support business objectives; 
  • Develop a plan for off session activities and coordinate with Access Living staff.

Tracking and Reporting:

  • Identify, track, and report on state legislation and legislative proposals that may have an impact on Access Living and the community we serve; 
  • Report activities at a minimum through the following:
    • Telephone or weekly updates on pending issues as they arise
    • A brief weekly written status report during the Legislative Session
    • A final written report and in-person presentation at the end of Legislative Session for Access Living staff.
  • Track priorities and meetings of aligned partner organizations.


  • Support the organization with a strong presence in the IL Capitol as the “eyes and ears” of Access Living and serving as day-to-day contact for legislators and other lobbyists on behalf of Access Living; 
  • Work to achieve Access Living’s goals on legislation, issues or rules by lobbying members of the Legislature, legislative staff and state government officials; 
  • Track and attend committee and rulemaking hearings, coordinate and assist in the preparation of testimony, submissions, and in-person testimony; 
  • Attend and participate in interim hearings and meetings regarding issues important to Access Living.

Relationship Building

  • Assist in the development of relationships with key legislators, regulatory agencies, state agencies, local governments, and community organizations, consistent with the current strategic and forthcoming racial equity plans; 
  • Develop strong connections with other agencies and state membership organizations to support mutual goals as identified.


Access Living prefers the proposer(s) offer their fee as a firm, fixed fee schedule which includes all expenses including travel for the services outlined in this RFP.


All proposals should include the following information:

  • 1. Letter of Interest;
  • 2. Names of the individual(s) who will be working on the project and their areas of responsibility, including the individual(s) responsible for managing the state office relationship and communication, administering the contract, and lobbying on the agency’s behalf;
  • 3. Experience and qualification of the individuals named above, highlighting their capacity to perform the related functions as outlined in this proposal;
  • 4. A list of at least three clients for whom you have lobbied within the past five years and an example of a success achieved with them. Include the client, contact name, email address, and phone number;
  • 5. A complete list of current clients and those served within the preceding twelve months of the submission date;
  • 6. Proposed fee structure for lobbying services.

Submission of Proposals:

Please remit an electronic version of the proposal no later than 5 pm on Friday, June 4, 2021 to Amber Smock, Director of Advocacy at Access Living, Any proposal received after the deadline will not be considered. Please direct any questions regarding this RFP to Ms. Smock at the aforementioned email address.