Government Relations

DANA on the Hill

DANA members travel to Capitol Hill to meet with our legislators. Join us in our lobbying efforts at the AANA Midyear Assembly

You can help. Contact your congressman, contact your representative, your senator. Let’s make our voices heard!

How to Be an Advocate

Advocacy is not difficult. Once you try it, you’ll gain confidence and realize that with a little preparation you can communicate easily with your legislator.

DOs and DON’Ts of effective advocacy:

  • If you are making a personal visit, schedule ahead.
  • Always organize your presentation whether you are writing, making a phone call or making a personal visit. Since all politics is local, it is effective to illustrate your point with a hometown or personal example.
  • Be brief. If you are making a personal visit, it should be no more than 15 minutes.
  • Always be friendly. If your Senator or Representative disagrees with you, simply state your views, listen politely to the opposing position and indicate you hope the two to you can work together on another issue in the future.
  • Be sincere. Remember: You are a taxpayer, a voter, a businessperson in the legislator’s district. Elected officials work for you.
  • Leave a summary of your presentation and, if appropriate, ask for a follow-up response.
  • Say “thank you.” If you have a personal meeting, send a follow-up thank you letter. In the letter succinctly reiterate the three key points you discussed in your meeting.

How to communicate with your legislators

The Letter

Writing your legislator is always an effective way to communicate. Keep your letter to a single page.

Sample Advocacy Letter

Date
Address

Salutation,

Using your own letterhead, introduce yourself in the first paragraph. Tell your legislator that you are a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), and how long you have lived in their district.

Use the second paragraph to select one or two talking points to make your point regarding anesthesia practice. Explain the role of the CRNA or how this particular issue pertains to your practice. Then identify ways in which this affects your community.

In the final paragraph, conclude with a question such as “Are you willing to commit the state’s financial resources for Nurse Anesthetists to (support CRNA education, keep medicare strong, maintain equity in teaching rules etc….), I look forward to your response to this question.” The question format will open the door for continued communication.

Remember to sign your name and include your credentials and address!
Remember that when responding to CRNA Advocacy Alerts, the AANA often supplies you with all the information you need to take action in minutes.

Appropriate forms of address and salutation

Here’s how to properly address your letter to various elected state officials:

To the Governor:
The Honorable (full name)
Governor, State of Delaware

Dear Governor (last name),

To a State Senator:
The Honorable (full name)
State Senator (if to the President, use President of the Senate)

Dear Senator (last name)

To a State Representative:
The Honorable (full name)
State Representative (if to the Speaker, use Speaker of the House)

Dear Representative (last name)

The Call

The telephone is an effective means of communication when time is short. It can sometimes be a challenge to reach busy lawmakers. Be prepared with your message so that if you are able to speak to the legislator, you project your message with confidence and clarity. Remember: Be prepared; be brief; be clear; be persuasive, be thankful.

If the legislator is out of the office, leave a message. Remember to be courteous to staff. If the issue is one that requires immediate action, let staff know your position on the issue, leave your name and phone number so that your opinion will be recorded and the legislator may return your call.

The Visit

The most effective way to advocate is in person. You’ll need to set up an appointment, then organize your brief and concise presentation. Unless the legislator wants to extend the visit, ask them to meet with you for only 15 minutes. Prepare a brief summary of your comments to leave with the legislator as well as documentation that helps confirm your message. Referring to local examples to illustrate your point is helpful.

Remember:

  • Schedule ahead.
  • Organize your presentation.
  • Be brief (No more than 15 minutes).
  • Be friendly.
  • Be sincere.
  • Leave a summary.
  • Send a “thank you.”

Know Your Respresentatives

The links below will help you find the representation for your district.
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
National organization.

Know Your Delaware Legislators

Find your representative and senator in Wilmington by first determining your election’s district.

Contact Delaware Senators

Contact Delaware’s senators in Washington, D.C.

Write Your Representative

Contact your representative in Washington, D.C. You’ll need to know your zip code and plus-4 to make sure your message lands in the right in-box.

Find your zip code plus-4

The U.S.P.S. site provides a plus-4 zipcode lookup form. You’ll need this to find your representative in D.C.

Leave a Comment