Remember to follow up!
After a visit, send a brief letter of thanks, referring to the most significant points covered in the conversation. Be sure to include any materials or information you said you would send after the visit. If you believe that your legislator could be more supportive if he/she heard from more constituents, channel your energy into mobilizing them.
While the Florida Legislature is in session, you may want to or you may be asked to telephone your legislator to advocate a position on major legislation. Here are some tips for calling your legislator:
Tips on visiting
One of the best ways to communicate with your legislators is to visit them, either in their district office or in Tallahassee. This lets legislators know you are serious and watching what they are doing.
Get an Appointment - Call the district office to see when the legislator will be in town and able to meet with you. Sometimes seeing the staff person is more profitable than meeting with the legislator.
If you feel you are being put off, have several people call for an appointment. Hopefully someone will be successful and you can form a delegation. If you cannot see the legislator, ask to see his or her aide. Legislative aides have the ears of their bosses and can be very helpful.
Put Together a Delegation - The purpose of a delegation is to convey to the legislator that there is a broad base of community support for your issue in their constituency.
Two to four person delegations are fine. If you identify 12 people who are prepared to visit your legislator, arrange three separate visits of four people each, rather than one large visit.
It is helpful to plan your delegation. Have a person who knows the statistics, etc. and someone who has a personal story of how the legislation affects them.
Have a Plan - Plan your visit, who is going to say what and when. Be prepared to meet with an aide, in case the legislator had a last minute change. Again, know your opposition's argument, in case you are asked, and have a response for those arguments.
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