Advocacy is a year-round responsibility. You need to work with elected officials all year, not just when they are in session or you need help on an issue. Here are some general tips:
  • Invest the time to know your elected representatives, from the county commission to congress.
  • The better you know them, the better you can adjust the way you approach them.
  • Use both direct and indirect methods. Direct is working with your legislators one-on-one. Indirect is a grassroots effort involving all interested parties.
  • Relate to the legislators in a personal way through shared community activities or business ties.
  • Be positive and show appreciation for legislators' service and past votes. Never be abusive or threatening. Always thank legislators for time and support.
  • Always offer to supply information or be of assistance.
  • Make sure legislators understand your district's situation. Provide a district "fact sheet" to your legislators. Make sure legislators are receiving district publications.
  • Attend town meetings or forums, public hearings, or any other opportunities to listen, learn and provide information.
  • Always state your purpose, but be open to compromise.
  • Always be honest. If you don't know the answer to a question, say so. If possible, find out the information and call or write back. Officials hate being "set up." Your reputation will suffer.
  • Treat your legislators like you want your constituents to treat you.
  • Find out how your legislators want to be contacted.