Develop Your Message
It is important to have a focused message and stick to it. Follow these tips to help develop your message:
- Successful legislative meetings are always brief and to the point.
- Collect facts, figures, and anecdotes that are specific to your state or local schools to use in your meetings, such as:
- how teaching social studies supports development of critical thinking skills and civic engagement;
- the percentage of high schoolers who leave school without history or civic education classes;
- how teaching social studies in your area could benefit from competitive grants to create a menu of innovative, validated approaches to teaching history and civics; and
- how past federal funding has been used to support innovative teaching in your school area, etc.
- Stick to a few main points of support for your issue and make a specific request for action.
- Always connect your issue to your institution or community. Legislators rely on local stories and sources for the work they do.
- Don’t forget to mention any independent research data that supports your points.
- Try to establish yourself as a helpful expert on how a particular issue affects the legislator’s constituents – you, your colleagues, students, family members, etc. at home.