United Way of Central Iowa is partnering with United Ways of Iowa to host a Day on the Hill at the Capitol this Tuesday to promote our 2017 Legislative Agenda focused on our priorities in education, income and health. This event is one of many opportunities to engage with your state leaders throughout the 2017 session. 

As the advocacy officer at United Way of Central Iowa and throughout my career working on advocacy efforts, I have learned a few tips for reaching out to representatives to share issues that matter to you. Here is my advice for making that connection: 

Meet in person.

In-person meetings and phone calls often have a bigger impact in reaching your legislator than e-mail. Some legislators host or attend community forums to hear about local issues during session, with times posted on their websites. Or, you can call to request a time to meet. If you need to reach out by email, write a personal note rather than a templated letter. Always identify yourself as a constituent in your legislator's district. You can find contact information for your state representatives on The Iowa Legislature website.

Establish a dialogue.

Legislators are members of our community, just like everyone else. Take the time to understand their interests and concerns before you meet. Instead of giving a formal elevator pitch, share why an issue personally impacts you and ask them questions. If they ask for follow-up information, make sure you send it. 

Partner in voicing your issue.

Connect with a nonprofit or group advocating for the same issues to leverage support in making your case. They often have fact sheets and host advocacy meetings. Connect with United Way's initiatives during this session by contacting me or visiting our advocacy web page to learn more. 

Become an Advocate

Learn more about how United Way is advocating for all central Iowans and receive regular updates on issues related to education, income and health. 

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Dave Stone

Written by Dave Stone

Dave Stone is the Advocacy Officer for United Way of Central Iowa.