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Legislative advocacy Toolkit

Schedule a Meeting

Schedule a Meeting

The first time you meet your legislator face-to-face, you may be nervous. Keep in mind that you 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. 

 

Write a letter

write a letter

Open the letter with an appropriate salutation. For a Representative or Senator, “To the Honorable John Doe,” is a good way to go. Using a title here is also acceptable, “Dear Representative Jones," for example.

Make sure your full name and address is on the letter itself–envelopes can get lost, and you need to be sure they can verify if you are a constituent or not and send you a response.

Get straight to the point. The first line of the letter should summarize why you are writing and what it is that you want Options include, “Thank you for…” “I support the passage of…” “Bill XYZ should not be allowed to pass,” etc. If it’s about a specific bill, include its official name and number if possible (ex. “USA PATRIOT Act HR 3162”).

Back up your concerns. Hard facts and statistics cited from a specific, published source (be sure to say where you get the information from) can support your position much better than nebulous statements and pure opinion. Personal stories are often appropriate. If you can tell a story of how this issue affects you or your family specifically, that helps to “bring it home.”

Always remember to be respectful. This is someone of power and influence you are addressing, and generally you are looking for them to do you a favor. Impugning your recipient’s character or honesty is counterproductive.