Advocacy 101

Meeting with Legislators

Legislators want to hear from their constituents, YOU!

Meeting a legislator in your District or at the Capitol is an effective way to advocate. If you are unable to meet face to face contact them in other ways (email or via phone).

Plan Ahead

Call one or two weeks in advance to set up an appointment. If you are unable to secure an appointment, that is alright; you will just have to swing by.

Research the legislator

Understand their stance on the issue, if possible. Prepare and review several talking points, and rehearse what you will say. If you are going as a group, designate one person to do the talking.

Establish credentials and connections

Each person should introduce themselves and briefly establish any credentials. Make a connection with the legislator if possible (e.g., "my daughter went to school with your daughter," or "my aunt was your Sunday School teacher," etc.)

Thank for past support

If appropriate, thank the legislator for their past support of family planning and/or women's health.

Present your information

Be clear, concise and brief in explaining the issue you want to discuss. Do not be intimidated by what you don't know. It is perfectly acceptable to follow up with the legislator after you've returned home.

Support your information with personal stories

Support the need for women's health care with personal stories and local examples from your community. If you consistently provide policymakers with good and timely information, they will trust you in the future as a knowledgeable resource.

End with an ASK!

Let them know what you are expecting them to do (e.g. Please vote yes on ___, Please support sex education, etc.)

Leave materials

Leave business cards and other supportive materials behind.

Make contacts

If you meet with a staff person instead of the legislator, be sure to get their name and title. Use this person as your contact in the future.

Follow up

Send thank-you letters promptly and respond to questions that came up, if necessary. You could also take this opportunity to address any objections or concerns that were expressed during your meeting.