How to Make an Appointment with Your State Legislators
Follow these best practices when initiating contact with your lawmaker(s):
- Call directly or send a message to the lawmaker’s email address. Visit your state legislature website. If you can’t find a specific phone number, use the general number, and ask for your senator or representative.
- Establish rapport. Identify yourself and your state school counselor association.
- Ask how you may set up an appointment to speak with the legislator specifically.
- Share that you are a constituent and/or identify a particular educational issue you would like to discuss with the legislator.
- Inform the scheduler of dates and times you are available, but also ask for phone, virtual or in-person meeting options to maintain flexibility.
- If the legislator is unavailable, ask to meet with a legislative aide who handles education issues.
- Don’t get discouraged if it takes more than one call to set up your meeting. Practice patience and persistence.
- After securing the appointment, be sure confirm prior to the day, because a legislator’s calendar can always be interrupted.
- On the day of your visit, remember to be punctual and prepared to discuss the bill or topic of concern, why you support/oppose and what action you would like the legislator to take. Use this time to increase awareness. Remember, you are providing tools to help lawmakers make informed decisions. Keep your meeting brief by staying focused on the matter at hand. Be sure to respond to any questions to help the lawmaker understand the issue.
- After your call or visit, send the legislator or legislative aide a note of thanks. Maintain the relationship by emailing additional information that may further support your discussion and to keep the legislator informed.