at the Capitol
Requires Tact, Planning
Communicating with lawmakers does not take an expert or seasoned lobbyist, but knowing the basics is essential to delivering
While legislators work to represent
their constituents, they often do not have
the time (especially during the session)
to engage in long, meandering chats or
read endless form letters. When you have
decided to engage a lawmaker, be prepared
to deliver your message concisely and
The best way to make a connection
with a legislator is a face-to-face meeting,
but during the session it may prove
difficult to know when a legislator is
available. Schedule an appointment to
meet with your elected officials through
their Capitol office staff as soon as possible.
Some visits are unplanned, however,
so inform your legislator’s staff that you
would like to discuss an important issue
with your legislator and tell them a little
bit about that issue. In some cases, the
member may be able to step away and
meet with you. If not, discussing the issue
with legislative staff can sometimes be
more effective. Do not underestimate your
elected official’s staff!
Remember to establish relationships
with office staff, particularly the staff
member responsible for education issues.
These staffers play key roles in working
with legislators during the session, when
legislators may be too busy to meet every
visitor or read up on every aspect of an
To find contact information for
legislators, use the “Find your legislator or
SBOE member” link available on gr.tasb.
org under “Advocacy Tools.” There you
may find which lawmakers represent you
and other useful information.
Some Important Tips
In communications to legislators, do
• Introduce yourself. Tell legislators
who you are, which group(s) you are
representing, and the issue about which
you are concerned.