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Grassroots Action Toolkit - General Tools

DemonstratorsTips
Now's your chance: meeting with elected officials
(courtesy of the Sierra Club)

Meeting with elected officials in person is an opportunity to make personal contact with decision-makers and convey your position in a persuasive and animated manner. A lobby visit allows you to tell your Senator or Representative what you think about a certain issue or bill and ask her/him to take positive action.

Here are some suggestions for a successful lobby visit:

Before the Meeting

  • Request a meeting in writing with specific times and dates. Follow up with a call to the scheduler or secretary to confim the meeting.
  • Make sure to convey what issue or bill you would like to discuss.
  • Decide on talking points to express your most important ideas.
  • Set a goal for the meeting. Do you want the Representative to vote for or against a bill or introduce legislation?

During the Meeting

  • Be prompt.
  • Keep it short and stick to your talking points.
  • Take the time to thank the elected official for past votes in support of your issues.
  • Provide personal and local examples of the impact of the legislation.
  • Be honest and don't claim to know more than you do about an issue. You don't have to be the expert, just a committed and active constituent.
  • Set a deadline or timeline for response.

After the Meeting

  • Write a thank you letter to the legislator.
  • Send any materials and information you offered.
  • Follow up on deadlines and if they are not met, set up others. Be persistent.



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