Talking to Legislators 101

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Joyce Lara, Tobacco Youth Coordinator
Brittany Abercrombie, Paola DacostaRosario, Trevor Latta,
MYAA Youth Ambassadors
Overview
Why
is talking to your Legislators important?
Steps for talking to your Legislators.
Video examples of meetings
Follow up after your meeting
Video Quiz
Follow Up
Closing Questions and answers
What is Advocacy?
ad·vo·ca·cy
● [ad-vuh-kuh-see]
 noun- the act of pleading for, supporting, or
recommending
◦ ex: He was known for his advocacy of
states' rights.
Why is it important to meet
with your legislator?
Makes
it very personal and helps develop a
relationship with the legislature.
Explain any points that are not clear.
Can answer any questions right away.
Make them aware of issues that concern you
and their area.
Steps for an Effective Meeting








Know who they are
Make an appointment
Dress professionally
Come prepared
Speak formally
Be brief
Thank them for their time
Use common courtesy
Know Who They Are

DO

DONT
Make an Appointment

DO

DONT
Dress Professionally

DO

DONT
Come Prepared

DO

DONT
Speak Formally

DO

DONT
Be Brief

DO

DONT
Thank Them for Their Time

DO

DONT
Use Common Courtesy

DO

DONT
What to Discuss at the Meeting
Advocating
vs Lobbying
◦Advocating- focuses on educating them, tells stories
that are based off true facts and stories.
Provide them with accurate facts on a specific topic to help
them gain knowledge on which way to vote
◦Lobbying- you ask for a specific action: vote yes or no,
support this bill, don’t support this bill
Pressures them to sway a specific way
What to Say
3
Basic approaches
◦Supportive
◦Non supportive
◦Not familiar with topic
Basic Steps for all Approaches
Be
Polite, thank them for meeting with you
KISS- Keep It Short and Simple
State your reason why you are here
Discuss why it is important to you
Give a couple of facts
Listen to what they have to say
Closing- thank them again and follow up with
any questions they may have and leave your
contact information and fact sheet
More power in numbers
◦Equal power in youth!
Steps if They're SUPPORTIVE
This
can be more of a conversation.
Thank them for being supportive and offer
them encouragement for taking their position.
Let them know you are here for them and
willing to support them in anyway you can.
Thank them and leave your contact and fact
sheets.
Steps if They're
NON-SUPPORTIVE
Even
if you know they are not supportive you
never know when something you say or do will
make them change their mind or at least stop
publicly endorsing their position.
Express your dissatisfaction, with out arguing
or getting mad.
Stay with the facts, and why you feel it is
important.
Thank them, leave fact sheets and contact
information
Steps if They're NOT FAMILIAR
This
is a great chance to let the issue be heard.
Offer more facts and specific reasons why this
is important.
Possibly have more time to discuss issue so
have a couple of personal stories to tell.
Thank them and leave your contact and fact
sheets.
(Video Quiz, 3 videos)
In each video clip pick out what was right,
determine whether it was supportive, nonsupportive, or not familiar
Follow Up
Always
follow up with any information they
requested during your meeting.
Send a personal thank you expressing how
appreciate you are that they met with you.
Look at this meeting as your beginning with
your legislators and keep an ongoing
communication with them.
Invite them to any event you are having in your
community.
Follow Up Cont...
E-mail
them expressing your appreciation for
their service and thank them if they are
supporting any bills that are of interest to you.
If you see them back in your community
reintroduce your self and remind them of your
visit. Thank them again for their support and
service and that you are here as a resource for
them should they have any questions in your
cause you are in support of.
You Are Important
We
thank you for coming and listening to our
session. As citizens of Missouri you make us
proud that you have taken your time today to
learn more about being coming a positive
influence in our state. Young people are valuable
partners because they reflect genuine concern for
their generation and also project a powerful voice
in advocating for a better world.
If
you would like information on important
issues, we have legislature priorities on page 11
of the Conference Program.
Joyce Lara, Youth Coordinator , University of Missouri
Family and Community Medicine
1 Riverbend Pl, Washington, MO 63090
573-823-3809, [email protected]
Want
to get in touch with a Youth Ambassador?
Contact Mona at [email protected]
Youth Ambassadors for Advocacy:
◦ Brittany Abercrombie...............Wright City, Missouri
◦ Trevor Latta.............................Wright City, Missouri
◦ Paola Dacosta-Rosaria............Chesterfield, Missouri
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