Wondering how to get involved? We’ve got you covered.
- National Afterschool Policy Issues
- Contact Your Vermont Senators and Representatives
- Contact Your U.S. Members of Congress
Ways to take action
- Identify your legislator
- Read up on the issues
- Call to voice your concerns, ask for their position on legislation, or say thank you for their support
- Sign up for e-blasts to receive advocacy action alerts
- Write a letter to the editor or op/ed in your local newspaper
- Invite your legislators and local leaders to your program
Important Considerations for Communicating With Policymakers
Your homework. Before making contact, learn key background information. Visit the policymaker’s website or read their bio to see what kinds of issues are near and dear to their hearts. Then figure out how you can connect with them.
Be specific. When you call, email or meet in person, tell the official why you are there and what you want. Your interaction might only last a few minutes. Be sure to mention you are a constituent.
Establish yourself an expert information source. Elected officials have limited time and staff, and many competing issues to consider. That is why advocacy is so important. You can fill their information gap and become their “expert.”
Bring materials to leave behind. Leave your elected official with a profile of your program and any other materials that describe your program’s benefits for kids and families in your community.
Follow up after a meeting. Always send a personal thank you note to the official and staff for their time. If you promised information, be sure to send it as soon as possible.
Think you have to know everything. It is okay to admit you do not know something. Rather tell them you will find out and get back to them.
Take too much time. Be mindful of their schedules and time constraints.
Forget elected officials work for you. You should be courteous but not intimidated.