When speaking or writing* to your elected officials, it can be difficult to know where to start. Following the advocacy tips below will give you a basic outline to effectively advocate for yourself and your community to elected officials at any level.
- Keep it concise and polite: legislators hear and read a lot of messages, so keep yours simple and memorable
- State who you are and what you want: tell them where you’re from, any relevant background, organizations or communities you belong to, et cetera.
- Be specific: keep your issues narrow and focused, and include bill numbers you want them to support if you are aware of any
- Personalize: tell your official why this issue matters to you and/or your community
- Indicate past support: let the official know if you have supported them through your vote, campaign donations, or other advocacy
- Take a firm stance: remember, these officials represent you, so don’t be afraid to let them know what they should be doing for you
*Writing tip: postcards make it through the mail screening process much faster than a letter, and are better for urgent issues. Most modern legislators also have email, which can also be an effective communication tool.