Legislative Advocacy Toolkit
The first time you meet your legislator face-to-face, you may be nervous. Keep in mind that are the expert on issues disability service providers face and that legislators are sincerely interested in getting their constituents' views on legislation. You have important information that your legislator needs to make decisions.
Your voice is important and should be heard!
When scheduling a meeting with your legislator, remember:
It is acceptable to assemble a delegation for the meeting, but remember that small meetings will allow for more detailed discussion of an issue. It is very important to appoint one person as the principal spokesperson. Also be certain that everyone agrees on the objectives for the meeting and the points to be addressed.
When meeting with legislators, you will want to be prepared. Include a brief description of your issue and why it is import to your organization, and the action that you want the legislator to take. Present your view with conviction, but don’t put him or her on the defensive. If you don’t have the answer to a legislator’s question, say so. Tell the legislator you will provide the information, and then be certain that you do. Provide information, both orally and in a fact sheet that you leave with the legislator. Give a copy of the fact sheet to the legislative aide as well.
Below is a fact sheet that can be used to help educate legislators, their staff, and the community at large. Use the fact sheet to prepare your talking points for your meeting and make to sure to leave a copy with the legislator and her/his staff when you leave.
After the visit with your legislator write a letter of thanks. Be sure to remind him or her of any agreements reached, and provide any information that you promised.
Not everyone is comfortable meeting face-to-face with their legislator. That is ok. There are other ways you can provide information and make sure your voice is heard.
Post Card Campaign
During the 2017 Legislative session many service providers organized local post card writing campaigns. Below is a sample postcard that can be sent to legislators asking them to support the restoration and rebasing of disability service rates.
Write a Letter
When writing a letter remember: