Reaching Out to Decision Makers
Key stakeholders have the power, by virtue of who they are or what they do, to effect change.
You can work to convince them that they have a stake in your issue and the outcome. That is, they win if you win. They’re all legislators, but not all legislators are equally effective. Senior legislators, and those on committees that will be crucial for addressing prenatal to 3 issues, may be your top lawmakers with whom to focus on building relationships.
Writing an Email to Stakeholders/Legislators:
- NCIT or your local or state partner’s action alerts make it simple for you to send an email to decision-makers who set policy and make laws.
- When you receive an action alert, personalize the message with one or two sentences and send it.
- If you have a personal story tied to the issue, share it in your email.
- When legislators receive hundreds of personalized messages about a certain issue, they’re more likely to notice and take action.
Writing a Letter to Stakeholders/Legislators:
- Be sure to let the decision-maker know where you live (city, state) and why you feel so strongly about prenatal to 3 issues.
- Emphasize your commitment to making sure all pregnant people, infants and toddlers have what they need to thrive.
- Encourage the decision-maker to respond and let you know their position.It’s best to send letters to members of Congress to the local district office rather than to Washington, D.C., where mail is processed for safety and delivery can be delayed.
- Keep your NCIT or local organizational partner up to date on how your communication efforts are going.
Calling Stakeholders/ Legislators
Don’t hesitate to call your elected officials. Often legislation moves at a fast pace and in order to have an impact on its course, we must move quickly. One of the best ways to do this is with a well-timed phone call. It takes a couple minutes to call your lawmaker, and usually you’ll be asked to leave a message with their legislative aide or on their voice mail.
There are times when we’ll send email alerts asking you to call your lawmaker through our phone system. It’s super easy to use - follow these steps:
- Click on the link in your email, enter your information and hit submit.
- Our system will call you right back.
- Then you’ll hear a brief recording from NCIT or member staff and be connected to your lawmaker’s office.
- Talking points will appear for you on the action page.
- If you need to talk to more than one lawmaker, just stay on the line and hit the star key after you finish your first message or conversation.
There may be other times when you want to call your lawmaker directly. Here are general tips when calling:
- Make sure to identify yourself, mention where you live, and share that you are calling for NCIT.
- Be brief in stating the purpose of your call, follow the talking points provided.
- If the elected official isn’t available, make sure you leave a message.
Sample outline for talking points:
- Hi, my name is [first and last name].
- I live at [home street address].
- I’m calling [lawmaker’s title and name] about x-issue.
- Add 1-2 sentences about why this is important to you and/or the community.
- I hope to count on their support.