It is important to remember while speaking with legislators that legislation can only reflect what the people want if you and others take the time and trouble to inform them about what you want.
Surprisingly, few people contact their legislators. It may be difficult to realize that a single visit in person, a phone call or letter can make an impact on a legislator’s views toward a piece of legislation but it certainly can and does. Remember, YOU are the expert and you have valuable information and perspectives to impart.
THINK about what you want to say before you arrive.
SUMMARIZE your concerns in a concise manner.
STATE your position clearly.
SHARE personal stories of someone you know in order to make your case.
SUPPORT your position with a few facts and basic information.
TELL your legislator what you hope he/she will do.
LISTEN to your legislator’s concerns and opinions.
INFORM your legislator of opposing viewpoints he/she may encounter and any counter arguments you may have.
UNDERSTAND that your legislator is balancing many constituents’ concerns and may not always be able to vote as you hope.
THANK the legislator for his/her time and interest.
OFFER your expertise or assistance in the future.
FOLLOW-UP the visit with a call, letter or card.