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Tip Sheet: Meeting with Members of the Legislature    

One of the most effective ways of influencing an elected official is to meet face-to-face. This can sometimes feel a bit intimidating, but remember, legislators are there to represent you. You are their constituent and they do need to hear about issues that concern you.

Here are some simple steps to follow:

  • Always introduce yourself, even if you have met them before. Don’t put the legislator in the awkward position of having to grope for your name. Make the legislator aware of any personal connection you may have, such as mutual friends, colleagues, etc.

  • Get down to business quickly. Begin on a positive note. Tell him/her what issue/group you represent and why their support of your cause is important.

  • Be specific, be clear and simple. Provide information about the issue, how it impacts his/her constituency and people throughout the state. Be specific about what you are asking for.

  • Use personal stories or anecdotes. A personal story will leave an image that the legislator will remember.

  • Ask what you can do. Ask if there is information you can provide. Don’t be afraid to admit if you don’t know something; offer to find the information for them.

  • Give him/her written materials. Your legislator will file the materials and refer to them in the future.

  • Thank him/her. Always thank the legislator for their time. Keep your interactions positive. Sending a thank you note recapping your encounter is a good idea.

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