Attending Advocacy Day: Schedule a meeting with your legislators
Preparing for Social Work Advocacy Day involves many aspects! Perhaps the biggest preparation is scheduling a meeting with your legislator- the most VITAL part of attending Social Work Advocacy Day. Without these meetings, Social Work Advocacy Day is not successful. Legislators need to HEAR and MEET WITH social workers on this day to help make it successful.
Here are some general tips about preparing for and meeting with your North Carolina State Senator and Representative when you come to Social Work Advocacy Day. Please note that meetings need to be set up BEFORE you come:
1) Schedule a meeting with your Legislators: You will most likely schedule the meeting with the legislator’s assistant (the LA). Let him or her know your name, that you are a constituent in their district and that you will be at the General Assembly for Social Work Advocacy Day and would like to schedule a meeting with the legislator to talk about the social work profession. Be sure to schedule a meeting with your Representative AND Senator (note: do not schedule a meeting with a congressperson or U.S. Senator!). If you are going to the meeting with another social worker or classmate, let the legislator know how many people will be meeting with the legislator.
2) Meeting as a Group: If you are meeting with your legislators as a group, try to keep the group to no more than 4-5 people; legislative offices are small. Make sure everyone in the group has a voice. Decide who will introduce the group and who will deliver what talking points BEFORE you go into the meeting. This will help you utilize most of the time you have with the legislator and will make your group look professional and respectful.
3) NASW-NC will have talking points: NASW-NC will have 2-3 issues that are important to social workers and draft up talking points to go over during the Advocacy 101 session. These will be emailed to participants prior to the event and will be posted on the Advocacy Day page of our website. You can choose to talk about these issues OR you can come with your own issue.
4) You are a Social Worker: If you come with your own issue, be sure to stress to the legislator that this is your concern as a social worker in his/her community. Make sure you have talking points and a one page document outlining your issue to leave with the legislator. This will allow them to refer back to your talking points. If you mention a specific bill, include the bill number.
We hope these tips help ease your stress before meeting with your legislators. Remember to set appointments with BOTH your Representative and your Senator. You can find who represents you by clicking here.
Pingback: Medicaid Expansion Advocacy Day | NASW-NC Social Work Blog