Hook, Line and Sinker

Hook: Tell them where you are from
Line: Give them your personal story or state the facts
Sinker: Ask for what you want

Hook, Line and Sinker – Three easy steps to engaging your legislator. This is one of the things that we learned last week at the annual Autism Society “Day on the Hill.”

Three Parent Advocates traveled to Washington, DC for a day of training and a day of appointments with our North Carolina delegation.

Our mission was to persuade our legislators to co-sponsor and support 3 pieces of legislation – Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in the Schools Act, the Autism Treatment Acceleration Act, and the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act.

You may have read in another post that the Restraint and Seclusion Bill passed in the House. It was exciting to think that we may have made a difference.

What stops you from getting involved? Are you afraid of talking to an elected official? Maybe you don’t know what to do or say, or how to act. What is the protocol?

First, tell them where you live. They want to know where you are from because they want to know if you are a constituent. They want to know if you are a voter in their district.

Second, tell your personal story. When we met with Senator Hagan, she was very interested in what we had to say and she asked questions to make sure that she understood what we were saying. If you don’t have a personal story, explain facts or significant statistics to support your opinion.

Lastly, and most important of all, ask for what you want. “Please co-sponsor the Restraint and Seclusion Bill.”

Rehearse what you plan to say ahead of time. You may only have a few minutes to get your point across and you want to use your time wisely.

As we walked into Senator Burr’s office and Congressman Price’s office, it was obvious by the American and State flags posted at the doors that we were stepping into offices where important people do important things. Equally significant were the “Welcome” signs.

As we continue to advocate on the Federal, State and Local levels, we will be calling upon you. It is important for our lawmakers to hear your voice.

It’s as easy as Hook, Line and Sinker.

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One Response

  1. Great tips, thanks! One additional: when on phone or in person, keep the “Hook, Line, & Sinker” down to a couple of minutes. This will hopefully facilitate a conversation by allowing time for legislators to ask questions or share what they already know.

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