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Communicating with Legislators:
It is VERY important to abide by all of the following guidelines when contacting legislators, whether by phone, email or in person:
- Stay in frequent contact with your personal legislators about this topic. Keep the issue fresh in their minds.
- Organize your thoughts prior to any communication.
- Stay on topic when you write to, call or visit with a legislator. Make your communication very specific to the legislation or issue you are addressing and do not get off on tangents.
- When emailing, start the email with Dear Senator_____ or Dear Representative________.
- Keep an email short and to the point! Legislators get hundreds of emails a day, so you want your points to catch their eye right away. Using bullets points sometimes helps.
- Make sure to use your grammar and spell-check. Do not use run-on sentences. Use paragraphs to make the email easier to read. If possible, have someone proof read the email for you
- In the subject line of your email put what your email is about (ex: HB 5213).
- At the very beginning of the email, if you are NOT writing to your personal legislator, tell why you are writing to them (ex.: because you are a member of the House Judiciary etc.) and let them know that you are also sending a copy to your Representative and/or Senator. Someone who is not your personal legislator will automatically send the email on to your legislator, whenever possible. This causes your legislator to get many copies of the same email.
- It is very important to be diplomatic, tactful and carefully explain exactly what you are looking to get across.
- Even if you are angry, do not let it show… explain what is WRONG with what the legislation is proposing and how it could affect you and/or your family members, or explain issues with the registry and how it is affecting you and your family members, etc.
- The main thing is, if you want to be considered credible, any communication must be professional, brief and well thought out.
- Follow-up any meeting with a thank you note reinforcing your main points.
- Speak from the heart!