Tips for Communicating with Legislators

Remain professional and respectful

Remember the protocols of addressing a member of the legislature

  •  Governor (last name)
  • Senator (last name)
  • Representative (last name)

Be personal

  • Let the legislator know whether or not you live within his/her district or if you teach within the legislator’s district
  • Tell the legislator a little bit about yourself
  • Look for common ground

Provide the data/facts

  • Use information from the fact sheets
  • Highlight a key piece of information
  • Provide examples from your personal experience with students

Stay on topic

  • You only have a brief moment to get your point across
  • Be polite and firm
  • Don’t let the subject change during the discussion

Be positive

  • Your purpose is to deliver a message not debate
  • Don’t burn bridges
  • Remind the legislature how the issue impacts students and learning
  • Don’t be defensive - stick to the facts

Ask……

  • Ask for support on the issue
  • Ask for support on a specific bill if you have it
  • Ask what will you support

Wrap it up

  • Don’t take up too much time
  • Thank the legislator for his/her time

Follow

  • Send a thank you note
  • Send additional information
  • Invite the legislator to your school