Effective legislative advocacy is an important step for educating our public officials and our community of the needs of individuals living with a disability. Our goal at UCP Heartland is to make sure local, state and federal legislators know people with disabilities and are taking steps to meet their needs.
Here is how you can help:
Develop relationships with legislators by asking them to visit with you; or congratulate your new legislator upon their election win.
Personal visits with legislators in the Jefferson City or at their home offices are more effective. Send letters, emails or call if you cannot visit in person.
If you are planning to visit your legislator in the capitol or at their home office, make an appointment.
Work to establish an ongoing relationship with your legislator. If they ask a question and you do not know the answer say so. Offer to find the information they are seeking and always follow up.
Treat your legislator and their staff with respect. Even if they disagree with your position, be respectful and agree to disagree on the issue.
When communicating with a legislator or their staff:
Be clear and specific regarding the issue
Use personal stories about how this issue will affects you
Leave a simple, written document with your request, when possible
Follow up with a thank you note