Legislative Day - How to Approach a Legislator
What do I do when I get to a legislative office?
- Identify yourself. Tell them that you are in Jefferson City for the University of Missouri System Legislative Day.
- Ask to speak to the legislator. If it’s your local Senator or Representative, make sure they know you are a constituent.
- Sign the guest book. If another alumnus has already come visited the office, you may continue on to your next visit.
- Meet with chief of staff or aide. If the legislator is unavailable, the chief of staff or aide in charge of educational issues can relay the information to the legislator.
- Focus your discussion on the talking points provided earlier. Be brief and to the point. If they need more information than you are able to provide, tell them that you will ask someone to get back with them.
Are there any other tips I should know?
- Be Patient. It isn’t uncommon for a legislator to be detained because of constant demands on his or her schedule.
- Be a Good Listener. It’s important to the legislator to have his or her view heard. Their comments and questions should provide insight for follow-up materials. View the meeting as an exchange of thoughts and information.
- Be Responsive. Express to the member your willingness to get more information if he or she expresses interest or asks questions you are not prepared to answer.
- Be Appreciative. Keep a friendly tone during the meeting. Recognize the contributions the legislature has made and emphasize the importance of sustaining that momentum.
What do I do after the visit?
- Follow-up with a brief note or email thanking the legislator for taking time out of their busy schedule to visit with you, and thank them for their support of the University of Missouri System.