With the 2017 Maryland General Assembly now in session through April 10, it’s time to make sure that all 47 senators and 141 delegates hear educators
With the 2017 Maryland General Assembly now in session through April 10, it’s time to make sure that all 47 senators and 141 delegates hear from educators on the issues that matter to our students and schools.
You have the ability to help steer the direction of the laws that will impact our jobs and communities. All you need to do is contact your legislator and speak up on the issues that you care about most. Not sure who your district’s legislators are? Go here to find out. Once you know whom to contact, then follow this guide to speak up.
It’s hard to beat a face-to-face visit with a legislator. Set up an appointment to speak in person with your representative — either in Annapolis or at your legislator’s district office closer to home. Many offices have a meeting request form on their website; try to make your request at least two weeks in advance.
Many local associations provide transportation for lobby nights in Annapolis, usually Mondays during the legislative session. Contact your local and join in! At your meeting, be sure to have literature that you can leave behind. A short summary of your request, along with supporting figures and background information, can be really useful for this. If your issue is one of MSEA’s 2017 Legislative Priorities, it is likely that we already have a one-pager ready for you to use.
Need more help on how conduct a meeting with your representative? Watch this short video to learn how to become an effective lobbyist while meeting with elected officials.
If you can’t find time for a meeting, calling your legislator is another good option — and can really get noticed in legislative offices. Throughout session, you can dial 1–888–520–6732 (MSEA) to be connected with the MSEA Hotline and your legislators. When you call, prompts will guide you to your legislator’s office phone line. An effective phone call with a legislative staffer is easy. Be sure to thank the staffer at the beginning and the end of the call. Be polite, keeping the ask focused on one issue, making it as specific as you can. If you get a voicemail, leave a message.
Additionally, there is power in numbers. Encourage friends and family to call as well. If you can get a solid group of people all calling on the same issue, the office will definitely take notice.
Throughout session, MSEA will send out alerts asking you to email your legislator. It’s a breeze. All you have to do is fill out a short form to make sure your email goes to the right legislator, read over the email content that we provide for you, and click send. It’s that easy! Of course, personal stories are so much more meaningful, so if you have some time, it’s always best to enhance the provided email content with your personal concerns and stories.
We will be sending out emails to all members in the upcoming weeks but if you would prefer to contact your legislator today, you can find their email addresses here.
Here are some key tips when sending emails:
Are you an avid tweeter? If you want to get your legislator’s attention on social media, you can send them a tweet and ask them to show support for the issues that you care about. You can search for their name on Twitter, or try googling their name and Twitter (i.e. “Jane Smith Twitter”). Be sure to place a period before your legislator’s username when addressing them so that everyone can see your tweet, not just the people that follow both of you.
Keep in mind that your legislator might not have a Twitter account, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tweet about important issues. Use Twitter as your platform to keep family and friends in the know about specific issues and how they can contact their representatives to influence change. In fact, you could even send a tweet directing them to this article!