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Talking Points

How to Talk to Your Legislators (Lobbying Techniques)

  1. The most important lobbying tool is personal contact in the lawmaker’s home district through arranging meetings and site visits.  Effective lobbying requires contact on a continuing basis.  Learn their preference on email or telephone communication.
  2. Be well informed about the issues.  Knowledge of the legislator and past positions on similar issues is very helpful.
  3. Know your facts and provide data and rationale to support your position.  Use CCOSA Talking Points on issues.
  4. The “art of persuasion” is one goal of your conversation; but please use common sense and courtesy in delivering your message.
  5. Be concise and to the point.  Do not overkill!
  6. If you disagree with a legislator, do not argue.  Express reasonably and calmly our well-prepared rationale for your position to the legislator.
  7. If you are asked a question you can no answer, say you don’t know but you will find the answer; get back to them as soon as possible.  Do not make up an answer or give wrong information.
  8. The state legislator often has one administrative assistant, who handles many responsibilities in the office.
  9. Remember that you do not have to be an expert on every legislative issue.  You are the education expert.
  10. Follow up with a thank you note and maintain open communication with your legislator.