By Marie Huey, Public Policy & Advocacy Coordinator and Kieu My Phi, Public Policy Intern
Talking to your legislators is great way to advocate for young children. Whether your goal is to raise an issue, share a solution, or simply to introduce yourself, an in-person meeting is an effective and memorable way to build a relationship with your elected officials. There are resources to help you easily locate and contact your state representative and senator. If you want to set up a meeting with your state legislators, follow the simple steps below.
How to Set Up a Meeting with Your State Legislators
Step 1: Find out who your state legislators are:
Click here to identify your state officials. They’re the first two people to appear in the results (identified as MN House and MN Senate along with your district number).
Step 2: Find their contact information:
Click the “contact” button next to their name (indicated below). This will take you to their information page.
Step 3: Exploring Legislators’ Information page
Once you click on the link, it will direct you to a page all about your legislator.
You can contact your Legislators three ways: calling their office, emailing them directly or contacting their staff (shown by the arrows).
Step 4: Contact your legislators
Use one or a combination of the options below for reaching out to your legislators. These scripts are a guide, but feel free to say what works best for you. Just make sure to indicate that you live in their district, as legislators give preference to constituents.
Emailing and calling directly:
“Hello Representatives/Senator ________,
My name is ______ and I am one of your constituents. I would like to schedule a time to talk with you about early childhood education. Do you have availability on (specific date)/What is your availability like in the next couple of weeks? Thank you.
Emailing and calling their assistant:
Legislative assistants are important contacts for scheduling appointments. They help legislators manage their calendars, and they are around even when legislators are in hearings. Reach out to them to schedule your meeting.
My name is ______ and I am a constituent of Representative/Senator _______. I would love to schedule a meeting with Representative/Senator to talk early childhood education and why I think it is important. Please let me know when they are available to meet..
Step 5: Follow up
You may get a response right away. Great! If not, be sure to follow up (preferably with a phone call) until you are able to schedule the appointment. Legislators can receive a lot of requests, and persistence is important. Just keep at it!
Step 6: Prepare for your meeting
The legislators’ contact page is a great place to start your preparation for the meeting. You can learn a little about them, which committees they are on, and what legislation they’ve proposed. Be sure to figure out your focus for the meeting and practice what you’re going to say.