Louisiana

Speech-Language-Hearing

Association

Advocacy 101

TIPS FOR MEETING WITH LEGISLATORS

While it may sound intimidating, a five-minute meeting is all it takes to build a valuable relationship with a legislator. Legislators want to hear from constituents, and face-to-face meetings in the district are much more effective than form letters, e-mails, etc.

When meeting with your legislator:

-Introduce yourself.

-If asked why you wanted to meet with them, state that you are becoming more active in your state organization's legislative efforts.

-Briefly explain what it is that you do as an audiologist or SLP.

-You may give them copies of any brochures or fact sheets on SLP and audiology services that you feel will be helpful.

-Make them aware of the issue/situation.  Stick to the facts, presenting both sides of the issue. Do not get emotional.

-Try to ascertain their position (support or opposition).

-Tell them you will be contacting them again during the session. You might ask your legislators if they object to being contacted via e-mail.

-Leave your business card, or write your name and a way to be contacted on the information you provide to the legislator.

AFTER THE MEETING:

-After you've met with your representative or senator, please complete the Legislative Contact Form, or send an e-mail to legislation@lsha.org with the legislator's name, your name, the town in which you live, where you work, and whether the representative or senator is supportive.

-Follow-up by sending them a thank you note for meeting with you.

DO NOT:

-Try to impress the legislator with professional jargon, demean the opposition, or take a negative or argumentative approach.

-Ask the legislator to support a bill which is already a law. 

"Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth."

- William Faulkner

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