There are three basic ways to communicate your point of view to your legislator: by letter/email, by phone or by a visit to the statehouse.
A personal visit with your elected official is the most effective method.
Make an appointment with your legislator so that you have an opportunity to meet with them personally to share your views. Be sure your legislator knows you are a constituent. If you can’t get one with the legislator, make one with the legislative director (LD) or the legislative aid (LA). Some offices have ‘counsel’ and other responsible positions you might meet with, as well.
If you can’t – don’t worry. Just work from one side of the building toward the next knocking on all doors as you go.
When you go to the state house dress nicely and be on time. Do not let your appearance detract from your message or credibility.
Be cordial. You are asking that they do something for you. Honey works better than vinegar.
When you go to the state house for a hearing, it is imperative that you register as a visitor as soon as you walk in the doors, and state the reason you are there, the opposition of S168 (formerly SD1840). This information will be transmitted to all Senate offices and will count in our lobbying effort.
When meeting with an elected official, make sure you’re prepared. Read the fact sheet before you go. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Cell: 617-633-3654 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Nothing will cause you to lose credibility faster than being ill-prepared, uncertain or vague. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t bluff. Instead, admit it and promise to have the answer by a certain time.
Make sure to ask those you speak with whether they know what ‘holistic healthcare’ is. Most say they don’t or only have a vague idea. I tell them ‘Have you heard of Chiropractic or Acupuncture? These are probably the most well-known examples. These professions have now become licensed, however, did you know that there are somewhere between 100 and 150 unlicensed natural healing methods available to MA consumers today?’ This draws them into the conversation.
Be clear about what your position is and exactly what you want your legislator to do. Identify legislation by bill number. Vote NO on S168 (formerly SD1840)
In presenting your case, make your main point first, followed by supporting points of information. Illustrate with anecdotes whenever possible.
Remind your lawmaker how many people this bill will negatively affect – thousands in more than 100 holistic healing professions – relying on this work to provide for their families and tens of thousands of clients that rely on these methods to stay well, naturally.
It is estimated that more than 1/2 billion is spent annually in MA on alternative and complementary health care (interpolated from national figures).
Holistic healthcare helps to contain healthcare costs by putting less of a burden on conventional medicine, as much of it is out-of-pocket.
All this good is threatened by S168 – a bill designed to curtail a very small number of human trafficking case but with huge, industry-wide consequences.
Ask your lawmaker to state their position. If their position is different from yours, ask what information or show of public support is necessary to change their position.
Thank your elected official for taking the time to meet with you.
After you meet with your senators, please visit offices of other senators. You may meet with their aids and share your views also.
If you are writing to your senator – remember — in all communications, be sure to include the bill number and name of the legislation, as well as your name, postal and email addresses and home and office phone numbers.