Gil Mildar
As the song says, a Latin American with no money in his pocket.

Lobby 99, I want to be part of it

That Saturday afternoon, the Israeli sun seemed hell-bent on melting even the most stubborn thoughts. I sought refuge under the shade of a tree, an unlikely oasis of coolness, and lost myself in the Daily Briefing podcast from the Times of Israel. Then something sparked inside me: a mention of Lobby 99. My curiosity, parched from the heat, reignited, and I decided to delve deeper into this organization. I discovered a new vision of what lobbying could—and should—be.

The word “lobby” has deep historical roots. It sprouted in 17th-century England in the waiting rooms of Parliament, where legislators and citizens would meet to discuss interests and influence decisions. In ancient Greece and Rome, the practice was already well-established. Influential figures would gather in the Roman Forum to persuade senators, shaping the empire’s destiny through almost casual conversations.

Over time, lobbying evolved from political cafés in 17th-century England to the corridors of power in 19th-century America. In the Willard Hotel, lobbyists waited to intercept politicians’ demands, like persistent salespeople of ideas no one requested. And in one of those corridors, a lobby changed millions of lives. In the early 20th century, a group of women known as suffragists used lobbying as their primary weapon to win the right to vote. They had no money but immense perseverance. They organized and mobilized, and in 1920, with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, American women gained the right to vote. This was the triumph of good lobbying, an example of how organized pressure can reshape history.

But let’s not kid ourselves: lobbying isn’t always noble. Often, it gets entangled with corruption, as if every handshake seals a murky pact. However, there are gleaming exceptions. The Jewish lobby in the United States, with organizations like AIPAC, exemplifies how lobbying can be a powerful, transparent force, openly and honestly influencing U.S. foreign policy toward Israel.

In Israel, lobbying has always played a crucial role. From unions to business organizations, everyone has tried to shape policies. Yet, the shadow of controversy is never far away. Often, political decisions seem to reflect the interests of the powerful more than the needs of the people.

But then there’s the good kind of lobbying. Yes, it exists. A form that fights for social, environmental, and human rights causes, transforming private interests into collective benefits. Non-governmental organizations use lobbying to influence policies, positively promoting justice, equality, and sustainability. Enter Lobby 99.

Lobby 99 is different. Funded by small donations from ordinary citizens, it’s a kind of modern-day Robin Hood, without the bow and arrow but with abundant transparency. Every contribution is a spark of hope; together, they form a flame that shines in the darkness. Here, transparency isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the very soul of the organization. Every decision is like an open window where everyone can see and understand the process.

Imagine a river of voices, each with hopes and frustrations, converging into a sea of possibilities. In Lobby 99, I saw a reflection of my desire for justice and clarity. Every decision is a silent pact, a promise that we can make a difference together. It’s a dance of wills, where each step is decided by those who have always been on the sidelines, now the protagonists of their own story.

The fight of Lobby 99 is like a storm sweeping away corruption and hidden interests. Banking reforms, pension rights, access to healthcare, reducing the cost of living—each of their victories proves that unity makes strength and that every voice counts. Transparency is the beating heart of Lobby 99. Imagine this: a world where every small action can turn into a cry for freedom, where every voice, no matter how small, has the power to influence.

In an era of disconnection and individualism, Lobby 99 is a beacon, a guide for those who still believe in the power of the collective. It shows us that we can break down the most substantial barriers and challenge the deepest interests when we unite our voices. It’s a renaissance of civic participation, proof that within each of us lies an immense power waiting to be unleashed.

And here I am, dear reader, laying bare my intentions. Yes, I am doing digital lobbying. I want to join Lobby 99, not just out of admiration but because I am confident I can contribute. I believe my writer or content creator talent can amplify this symphony of change. Let my voice join this current transformation, helping to build a future where every word is a brick in constructing a more just world.

Who knows? With a bit of luck and a nudge from good intentions, I might discover that the scorching sun of Israel isn’t so relentless after all when you have an excellent shade to rest under and grand ideas to dream about.

About the Author
As a Brazilian, Jewish, and humanist writer, I embody a rich cultural blend that influences my worldview and actions. Six years ago, I made the significant decision to move to Israel, a journey that not only connects me to my ancestral roots but also positions me as an active participant in an ongoing dialogue between the past, present, and future. My Latin American heritage and life in Israel have instilled a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, and justice. Through my writing, I delve into themes of authoritarianism, memory, and resistance, aiming not just to reflect on history but to actively contribute to the shaping of a more just and equitable future. My work is an invitation for reflection and action, aspiring to advance human dignity above all.
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