Another effective way you can take action is to host a site visit for your legislator. A visit to your organization or center allows your legislator to learn about your daily operations, the impact your work has on the community, and current initiatives or issues taking place in the community. Hosting a site visits gives you the chance to build and strengthen your relationship with your legislator and increase the visibility of your program and issues. This section offers steps on coordinating a site visit for your legislator.
Arrange your visit
Legislators are in their home district on certain days; coordinate with your legislator’s district office to schedule a visit around their “in district” days. If your legislator is not available, try to schedule a visit with their senior staffers. Be sure to communicate the purpose of the visit and the issues you will address.
Plan for your visit
Your site visit is an opportunity to elevate the work of your organization and community. Gather colleagues, community advocates, and stakeholders to organize the agenda and invite list. With your team, design meeting content around the key issues you wish to present. Include personal stories that emphasize the importance of the issues. Make a list of questions to ask your legislator. Also, brainstorm and prepare for questions your legislator may ask you during the site visit.
A site visit is an important event not only for you, but for your community as well. Invite local news outlets to document the site visit. If you’re unable to coordinate media coverage, capture photos during the site visit, along with a summary of the event, and send them to local media outlets.
During your visit
All site visits are different; however, the following is a general order of events:
- Introduce your team to the legislator or senior personnel.
- Discuss the mission and vision of your organization, the population you serve, and relevant current efforts.
- Discuss your policy issues and related questions.
- If you’re an oral health center, guide your legislator through a tour of the facility. Make sure to take photos throughout the visit.
After your visit
After your meeting, send your legislator a note to than them for their time and commitment to the community. Reiterate the points covered during the meeting, and emphasize the significant of the issues to the population you serve. Ensure all follow-up requests discussed at the meeting are completed. Also, include photos of the site visit with your follow up.