How to Communicate with your Legislator -
Legislative Action Isn't Just a Letter
Get to know your Assembly Member and Senator. Remember they represent everyone who lives in their district, even if they are of a different party.
Familiarize legislators with you, your school and your issues. If possible, prepare position papers on education issues of concern in your region, e.g. school facilities, transportation, staff /program cutbacks, etc.
Make personal presentations through visits with legislators and their staff. Always call to make an appointment in advance of your visit. Staff members communicate regularly with the legislator and are often better acquainted with the specifics of an issue. Never underestimate the importance of a legislator's staff.
Share positive information about your school/district, e.g. if your school wins an award, if your test scores are up, etc. let them know your schools are doing a good job, so they will feel good about education and about you.
Testify at hearings or send written statements, especially if your legislator is on the committee holding the hearing.
Send letters or faxes, and make phone calls on specific issues to your legislator.
Personalize the contact. Do not send form letters. Do not send a letter asking the authors of a bill to support or oppose their own bill. Do send a letter briefly indicating your support or opposition and the reasons why.
Volunteer to work on their campaign or serve on their advisory committee on education. If they don't have one, offer to set one up for them.
Contribute to their campaign; better yet offer to hold a fundraiser for your legislator or a promising candidate.
Organize group functions featuring your legislator - banquets, legislative breakfasts, receptions, etc.
Establish and participate in a legislative network for administrators in your region to provide rapid communication and action on 'hot" legislative issues.
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