How can I maintain relationships with my legislators after participating in an advocacy day?
Building for the Future
It’s great to hear you are thinking ahead to what’s next! Building relationships with your legislators is an important advocacy strategy and there’s a lot you can do from home and throughout the year. Here are a few ways you can stay connected:
- Most legislators are active on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Follow them to stay informed. If they post something relevant to the bleeding disorders community, send them a message about how you and your family would be affected.
- Use social media to post a photo from your advocacy day, tag your legislators, and share why you were at the Capitol. Tagging your legislators, even if you didn’t meet in person, is a great tool because they’ll likely receive a notification about your post. If you met with your legislators or their staff, thank them for the meeting.
- Send a thank you email or letter to your legislators and remind them about bleeding disorders and what access to care means to you and your family. Offer to be a resource if they need a patient’s perspective when considering future legislation. Use HFA’s Take Action Center (scroll to bottom of the page) to find contact information for your local, state, and federal legislators.
- Many legislators host regular coffee or town hall meetings for their constituents. Take advantage of this opportunity to build your relationship! Information on local meetings is usually available on the legislator’s website, social media, or email (you’ll need to sign-up for their newsletter). You can also visit the Town Hall Project for dates and locations. Use these tips from the National Kidney Foundation on attending a town hall.
- Work with your local bleeding disorders organization to invite your legislators to an event. Even if they can’t attend, this reminds them of who you are and the bleeding disorders community.
- For more ways to follow-up, read this Dear Addy post on maintaining momentum after a legislative day.
Building relationships with your legislators now will make asking for support on future legislation more effective.
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HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.