Make your opinions on current legislation known through advocacy! See below for a list of ways to get your voice heard:
Develop and Utilize your Networks
You may already have a large audience to share your thoughts with, whether it be with other members of an organization you are affiliated with or through your social media platforms. This is also a chance to raise awareness and unify communities for a common cause.
Staying active within and expanding your networks ensures that you get your views out to as many people as possible, as well as makes your viewpoints stand out more to policymakers. Build relationships and conduct outreach through leveraging social media, attending events such as conferences, and reaching out to other organizations with aligned goals.
Engage Directly with Policymakers
Policymakers want to know the public’s opinion on key issues they care about! Make the most out of your efforts by doing research first on who the best people to speak to are, finding out their backgrounds and interests, and ensuring that you have a clear and succinct message for them. Find out who your state Senate and Assembly Representatives are here and explore their individual websites to find information on them, including their appropriate contact information. Then, consider what mode of communication to utilize:
Send a Letter or Email
Often, organizations will have pre-written emails that you can send to state representatives or assembly members. Physical letters may take more time to get read and processed, but also typically receive more attention. View this resource for tips on how to write and send an effective letter or email.
Make a Phone Call
Phone calls are good for when your message is time sensitive. However, don’t expect to speak to the legislator directly from the get-go. Your call will likely first go to a staff member, who can then inform the legislator.
Schedule a Face-to-Face Meeting
Face-to-face meetings are the best way to build a rapport with legislators and make your personal stories and experiences all the more impactful. Their individual websites may have built-in options to schedule a meeting with the legislator. If not, call their office and ask to speak to the scheduler. Although you likely won’t be able to meet with the legislator in person, it is still beneficial to meet with legislative staff. Be sure to come prepared with the appropriate knowledge, a rehearsed and tailored message, and written materials. Be sure to thank the legislator or staff for their time, and follow-up after the meeting with a letter or email.
Do you know a caregiver, but don’t know how to help? Direct support can come in many forms, such as helping with errands, gifting food, providing emotional support, and checking in on them to make sure that they are taking care of themselves mentally and physically. Check out this Caregiver Wish List for more ideas on how you can help alleviate caregiver stress.