Contacting Elected Officials
An email or letter from a constituent is a very powerful advocacy tool.
In general, an effective email should be limited to fewer than 500 words and a letter to one or two pages at most. Start and end your correspondence by stating why you are writing and what it is you would like the elected official to do.
PHONE CALLS TO ELECTED OFFICIALS
Calling legislators is very effective, particularly in the days just before they are scheduled to take action or vote on the issue.
To prepare for the conversation, jot down a few notes containing the key points you want to make, and refer to the notes during your call. Unless you know the elected official, you will almost always speak with a staff person.
MEETING WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS
Politicians need friends and advisors. They will listen to and consider the information they get from their friends even when they do not (or cannot) agree with them. Politics is the art of compromise. Your officials cannot always hold your position. If they cannot support you on one issue, they will often want to support you on others, or at least work to keep an open dialog.
HOW TO CONDUCT A TOWN HALL MEETING
One of the most effective ways to gain the attention of elected officials and their staff, outside of visiting their office, is to attend a town hall or community meeting.
Legislators arrange these meetings to hear from their constituents. To accommodate travel schedules, they generally occur when they are not in session.
HOW TO SCHEDULE AND MANAGE A HOSPITAL TOUR
A hospital tour can help you accomplish many things. We are a visual society. Having a lawmaker or candidate tour the hospital, and see what you and your co-workers do every day, is compelling and educational.
Schedule the tour at a time and place where multiple employees will have the ability to meet him/her. Include senior staff at the hospital and the Director of Public Affairs on the planning, as well as your state’s Government Relations staff.