Hard to believe that the 2018 General Session of the Colorado Legislature kicks off in only a matter of weeks. When the session begins Jan 10th, legislators will be frantically busy and flooded with constituent calls.
Why compete for their attention in January when everyone else is? Now is a GREAT time to reach out to your legislator – by connecting with your elected officials now, you can have a more sincere dialogue and establish a relationship that will endure even when the session gets busy. Even better, this simple outreach takes very little time. Straight from the Housing Colorado advocacy team, here is an easy 6 step process for contacting your legislator:
1. Find out who your legislators are. Open States (http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/) has a terrific online tool, simply type in your mailing address and it will provide you with your legislator contact information.
*Note, the search engine driving this tool may function best in a Microsoft Explorer browser
2. Call them! You may have to leave a voicemail, but they will call you back (remember, you are more likely to get a call back now versus when the session starts).
3. Introduce yourself and let them know you live or work in their district. It is important that they know right away that you are based in their district – this immediately identifies you as a voter in their eventual re-election.
4. Tell them a little bit about your job or organization and your role in providing affordable housing (or services that support housing) in the community. This doesn’t have to be lengthy, just tell them enough to establish your background in affordable housing.
5. Offer to be a resource in the coming legislative session. Let them know that there will be a few affordable housing issues in the coming session, and you are happy to be a resource, answer questions and provide input on bills related to housing.
6. Follow up with a thank you email. This is a great way to reinforce the connection, and also ensure that the legislator has your contact information.
EXTRA CREDIT! For those you looking for those bonus points, tell your legislator to save the date for Housing Colorado’s Legislative Luncheon scheduled for February 1st. A formal invitation will be arriving for all legislators in January, however letting them know about the event now will increase the likelihood that will attend. Even better, they will attend if you invite them to be your guest (Housing Colorado will cover the cost of legislator lunches).
Feeling a little intimidated about contacting your legislator? We get it, and to help make the process easier, we have provided a sample script for you to follow when you speak to your legislator.