Now's your chance: meeting with elected officials
(courtesy of the Sierra Club)
Meeting with elected officials in person is an opportunity to make personal contact with decision-makers and convey your position in a persuasive and animated manner. A lobby visit allows you to tell your Senator or Representative what you think about a certain issue or bill and ask her/him to take positive action.
Here are some suggestions for a successful lobby visit:
Before the Meeting
- Request a meeting in writing with specific times and dates. Follow up with a call to the scheduler or secretary to confim the meeting.
- Make sure to convey what issue or bill you would like to discuss.
- Decide on talking points to express your most important ideas.
- Set a goal for the meeting. Do you want the Representative to vote for or against a bill or introduce legislation?
During the Meeting
- Be prompt.
- Keep it short and stick to your talking points.
- Take the time to thank the elected official for past votes in support of your issues.
- Provide personal and local examples of the impact of the legislation.
- Be honest and don't claim to know more than you do about an issue. You don't have to be the expert, just a committed and active constituent.
- Set a deadline or timeline for response.
After the Meeting
- Write a thank you letter to the legislator.
- Send any materials and information you offered.
- Follow up on deadlines and if they are not met, set up others. Be persistent.