Fertility Within Reach has compiled a list of suggestions and tips on ways to effectively communicate with legislative representatives. If you have any questions about these, please contact us. We are here to help!
- Introduce yourself and greet the person with a firm handshake.
- State why you are contacting them (e.g.,supporting a bill, opposing a bill, informing them of an issue you want to bring to their attention and want them to take action on)
- Share YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. We cannot state this enough. This is what makes the issue become real and memorable.
- Do your homework. Come armed with FACTUAL information that you can share to support your position and bolster your credibility.
- Tell the person with whom you are meeting that you are available for future discussions. Bring a business card with you.
- Ask for a copy of their business card.
- Ask permission to follow-up within a reasonable time. Then do it. Legislators and their staff members meet with hundreds of people each week. So that your request doesn’t slip through the cracks, a friendly reminder will keep its momentim going.
- Immediately after your meeting, send a thank you note. Because mail security in government buildings is tight and therefore snail mail might get caught up in processing, we recommend sending a direct electronic message.
E-Mail or Regular Mail
- In your opening paragraph, introduce yourself. If you are a constituent, indicate the town/precinct/etc where you live.
- Clearly state your reason for contacting them (e.g.,supporting a bill, opposing a bill,informing them of an issue,asking them to take action, etc.
- Include evidence-based information to support your argument.We have included numerous pieces of literature with supporting information.
- Indicate you are available for follow-up and include your full contact information.
- Follow-up with a phone call or reminder message.
|Click here for:|
Testifying at a Legislative Hearing
- Bring enough copies of your written testimony to distribute to each committee member
- Distribute copies of the Supportive Information which comes from this website
- Don’t read from your letter verbatim
- Be prepared to answer follow-up questions
- The hearing room will likely be filled with lobbyists, legislators, and constituents ready to testify
- Dress professionally, business casual is acceptable
- Be prepared to wait to provide your testimony. You won’t know where your bill falls on the agenda. When signing in, you can request to go early and give a very appealing reason why.
- It’s best to be yourself. Don’t hold back your emotions. If you break down, that makes the subject more real.
Tips for Follow-up with a Legislator
- Make the time to say “Thank you”. If you have communicated with a legislator or their staff, please send a note expressing your appreciation for their consideration. This is a polite way to remind them who you are and the importance of your cause.
- If you have children, include a photo of your child.
- If you see a legislator in person, it is a special opportunity to bring your child to meet a legislator and say “Thanks for making my family possible”.