What is legislative advocacy?
Legislative Advocacy is the act of influencing state and federal lawmakers to pass legislation that supports our goals or to oppose legislation that is harmful to our community.
Why can you make a difference as a legislative advocate?
Legislators/candidates for public office want to be elected. As a registered voter, you have the power to vote for them or their opponent.
Use your influence and let them know what you think about pending legislation that affects you and your family.
Lists of registered voters and their addresses are public information, therefore legislative office staff will know if you are a constituent and a registered voter.
How can I register to vote?
The process to register to vote differs in each state. Click on the below state to find out how to register to vote in your state. Note that some states require registration in advance of an election.
How does a bill become a law ?
Click on the below state to find out about the legislative process in your state or the country.
How can I contact my legislator?
You can contact your legislator by writing a letter, sending an email, telephoning, or visiting in person. Please note that meeting with an aide or staff person can be just as productive as meeting with your legislator. Donít be offended if your legislator is not available for the meeting.
Click on the below state to find out the contact information for your legislator.
When contacting my legislator about a bill, what information should I include?
- Your name, street address, and phone number
- Bill number
- Reasons you are asking him/her to support/oppose the bill
- Personal anecdotes if applicable, i.e. how the bill would affect you if passed into law
- Action you are requesting of him/her, such as to vote for a bill, to urge a Committee to report it out favorably, etc.
Is there anything else I should know in order to be an effective legislative advocate?
- When a legislator or his/her aide asks you a question to which you donít know the answer, tell them you will get back to him/her with the answer, and be sure to do so.
- When asking your legislator to act on a bill, be sure to follow up to find out his/her position and if s/he took the action you requested.
- When a legislator does something you like, thank him/her.