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.