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Communicating With Legislators

Tips for Talking with your Legislators

  1. Identify yourself. Bring business cards and relevant materials with you.
  2. Identify your subject. Begin with an explanation of the general topic and background information. Be succinct.
  3. Focus on one or two points. Provide good information. Give only facts. Be clear and concise.
  4. Answer all questions directly. Do not deceive or mislead. Do not argue.
  5. Ask directly for your legislator’s support.
  6. Keep your visit short (10-15 minutes).
  7. Thank the legislator for his/her time and support. Let him/her know if you have met with helpful staff.
  8. Follow up with a thank you letter.

Tips for Writing to your Legislators

  1. Contact your own legislator as well as the chairperson of the appropriate committee. It is important that legislators hear from you when they are holding hearings and testimony on the legislation you are interested in.
  2. Use plain paper or personal stationery. If handwriting a letter, please write legibly.
  3. Include your return address on the letter.
  4. Stick to one subject and identify the subject clearly. Avoid form letters. Use your own words. If writing about specific legislation, include the number of the bill.
  5. State your position and back it up with personal examples. Support your position with reliable facts and figures.
  6. Be reasonable. Don’t ask for the impossible or make threats.
  7. Keep it short, sincere, and to the point.
  8. Ask for a reply. As a constituent, you are entitled to know your legislator’s position.
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