As the fight for reproductive rights moves to the states, GRR! advocates will want to meet with their elected officials to advocate for a particular bill or issue. Remember: Regardless of their party or position on the issues, legislators represent YOU and should welcome meeting with any and all constituents.
Servings: One meeting at a time
Prep Time: Days to weeks – or as long as it takes to be well organized and to craft clear objectives.
- A pinch of passion and persuasion
- A pound of preparation & planning
- A cup of stories and statistics
- A dash of brief, written materials such as a “one-pager” about your organization and the issue or if going solo, why you are there and why the issue is important to you
- Unlimited amounts of courage and commitment
Before the meeting:
- Contact your legislator via email/phone to set a time to meet in the community or at the capitol. Ask for 30 minutes and expect to get half the amount of time.
- It’s a good idea to include other constituents or representatives of groups also concerned about the same issues, ideally no more than seven.
- Know your audience and research the legislator’s bio and voting history.
- Designate one person to start the meeting, make introductions and state the meeting’s objectives.
- Develop an info sheet that quantifies how the issue impacts lives.
At the meeting:
- Open with a statement like “We want to know what we can do to be a resource for you.”
- Make introductions and present your issue clearly using both stories and data.
- Pivot to getting the legislator to talk about themselves – the more they talk the more you will learn about shared interests and differences.
- Ask for support. If your issue is already introduced and moving forward, state your position and ask the legislator where they stand.
After the meeting:
Follow-up with a thank you letter or email that thanks them for their time and briefly re-caps the discussion.