Plan a visit to a policymaker
Meeting with policymakers either at their office or other location can provide an opportunity to interact directly on issues important to you.
1. Call and ask for a time, date and place for your visit, and indicate your area of concern. Make sure you indicate if you are a constiuent of the policymaker.
2. Be prepared ahead of time with your position (or your "message") clearly articulated. Make sure you know exactly what action you want your policymaker to take.
3. When you meet, identify yourself (and your groups. partners or coalitions) so that the policymaker will know that you are coming in as a representative of many like-minded individuals and/or organizations. Have your story ready and your main facts or data ready for explaining. Avoid other topics that are disguised as friendly conversation. Keep your discussion focused on your topic and present it clearly but in a timely fashion.
4. Answer any questions, leave any fact sheets you have, and indicate you will provide additional information you have been asked to supply.
5. Do not forget to "make the ask"--"can we count on you to help us achieve this policy or make this change?"
6. No matter what the reaction, do not get angry or argue about the topic--you may need to have a later visit or come back with another issue at a later date.
7. Ask when you may check back to either provide additional information or to check to see if the policymaker has made a decision on supporting your proposal.
8. Don't overstay your time. Thank the policymaker for visiting with you, no matter what the response has been.
9. Keep careful notes of the conversation, possible support, opposition points made or additional information needed to share with other partners in your advocacy group.
You can locate the name of your legislators by connecting with the interactive map at the KU Institute of Policy and Social Research. If you know the name of your legislators but not the contact information, click on Kansas Legislature's House Members link or the Senate Members link for phone, email and address.