Summertime Engagement with Lawmakers
Summertime is a great time to connect with legislators. Lawmakers engage with constituents at a furious pace during the legislative session each winter and spring, so summer engagement is a way to distinguish yourself and to make your legislative priorities known.
Building relationships with legislators can be as simple as meeting for coffee on a Saturday morning or sending an email introducing yourself. Elected officials value connecting with constituents and hearing their personal stories. Here are some tips for effective engagement:
First: Don’t know your legislators? Find them here.
- Visit them at their local district office. Legislators are typically in their districts while off-session. You can find their local office information here.
- Meet your legislator for a coffee. Businesses are opening, and many adults are vaccinated. Now might be the right time to reconnect.
- Go to your elected officials’ websites and sign up for their newsletters to learn more about what they’ve done for your community.
- Attend town hall meetings. Legislators like to hold these at different times throughout the year to allow constituents an opportunity to discuss issues. Check newspapers, community blogs and join legislative blogs to be informed. These are great opportunities to gain insight on legislator’s top issues.
- Introduce yourself to legislators.
- Send them an introductory email. Find a template here.
- If you see them out at local events, say “Hi!”.
- Reach out to them on their social media.
You have a meeting scheduled. Great! Now, what will you say when meeting with your legislator? Some speaking points:
- Note your affiliation (UW unit/department/college graduate, support of higher education, etc.) so your legislator identifies you with your cause.
- Ask your legislators how they will demonstrate their commitment to higher education next session.
- Tell them why you care about higher education and the UW, and your experiences.
- Ask them what issues are important to them.
- Ask what information you can provide to be sure higher education stays relevant and top of mind.
- Thank your legislators for their commitment to higher education.
UW Impact is your source for information and resources to keep you informed and civically engaged. Please reach out to us with any questions.