Here are a few helpful hints for new political activists!
“…and though they cannot speak, they do speak, still. For we are the voices of the children who cannot speak for themselves. We do it for them, in their honor and on their behalf. We will not stop until justice has been done.”
~ Joanne Cacciatore, Founder, M.I.S.S.
Your first step is to find out who your local senator and representatives are. You can find that out by going here. Ensure that you know your district because when you call your legislator, you will be a constituent. Constituents are very important to legislators.
Call your legislator’s office and set up an appointment to meet for 20 minutes. Tell them that you are a constituent in his or her district.
Write a letter to your senator, representative, and/or assemblyman. Tell them you are a constituent, to please read the letter carefully, and that you will follow up in one week with an appointment.
Make an appointment with legislator’s staff. Tell them you have already sent a letter (you stand a better chance if you are a constituent) and would like to meet with them.
Dress professional and present yourself as a concerned citizen, not just for yourself but for your community members as well.
Plan your visit carefully! Be clear about the facts and try to be direct. Know your members and their “issues” before meeting with them.
Be prompt and patient!
Be prepared! Read through the history and impetus for the bill. Know your national and state statistics. (We can help you with that!)
Be political! Demonstrate the connection between this bill and the interests of their constituents. Ask for a commitment.
Be responsive and follow up. Send a thank you letter outlining their discussion and commitment and send along any follow up information they may have requested.
Ask them for a bill number and email the MISS Foundation office immediately so we can begin to assist you in getting support.
Source: The Washington Times, Revised Congress Journal 3, adapted by the MISS Foundation.