Meeting your legislators in person is an effective way to talk to them about what matters to you.
Tips for meeting with your legislator:
- Schedule your meeting: Email, mail, or call your legislator to request a meeting. When you do this, be sure to tell them what you want to talk about. If you're their constituent, tell them. If you're bringing another constituent or someone else to the meeting, let them know. Don't ambush them with unexpected guests.
- Be flexible and patient: Give your legislator time to respond to your request for a meeting. Use the legislative calendar to find out when they are in legislative session and out of session.
- Prepare: Once you have a meeting scheduled, it’s time to prepare.
- Educate yourself. Is the legislator a co-sponsor of a measure you support? Have they supported issues important to you in the past? Do you have connections in common with the legislator? Can you personalize your relationship? (Did you both graduate from the same high school, for example?)
- Decide on your goals and what you hope to get out of this meeting. Introducing yourself? Getting the legislator to understand your point of view on a certain topic? Getting their support or opposition to a particular bill?
- Plan the flow of the meeting. If more than one person is attending, make sure you know who is speaking about what, who takes notes, and what everyone’s roles are.
- Follow up: After the meeting, don’t forget to send a thank you note to leave a lasting impression and strengthen the relationship you’ve established.
In-Person Meeting Tips:
- Be prompt.
- Be polite.
- Be honest.
- Facts are important, however, personal stories and connections leave a lasting impression.
- Don’t be shy! Ask your legislator to take a selfie and share on social media with the hashtag #CALeg to publicly thank them for their time.
- After the meeting, send a thank you note.