You can make a difference. Your voice counts.
Right now is a crucial time for us to lay the foundation to support community action. When new policies are to be enacted, MASSCAP members and supporters must raise a powerful, collective voice regarding the critical importance of community action and provide policy makers with the impetus to put community action at the forefront of their legislative agendas. Political will for issues important to community action investment is growing across the nation, but it needs our voices, together, right now, to create a movement.
Here’s how you can help:
Email and Letters
Legislators appreciate the time it takes to send an email or write a letter. Attention is given to the issues with the greatest amount of constituent response. Limit the correspondence to one page and no more than three paragraphs. The more clearly you state your issue, the better it will be understood. Make your emails and letters look professional. For letters, write on your business or personal letterhead, using a business letter format. Send U.S. Mail to any Massachusetts legislator using the person’s name and the general address: State House, Boston, MA 02133. Address your letters to your state legislators as follows:
The Honorable (full name)
State House, Room #
City, State, Zip
Find your Massachusetts Legislators and Senators:
Massachusetts Legislators and Senators
It is helpful to keep in contact with your legislator’s staff on a regular basis. A staff member will usually answer your call. Introduce yourself, and mention your title and affiliation. If you are a constituent of the legislator, say so; constituents’ issues get the most action. Ask for your call to be directed to the staff member who covers the issue you are addressing.
An actual meeting is the most effective contact. It shows you are really serious and can facilitate a relationship between you and your representatives or their staff. Arrive on time. Legislators and their staff have extremely busy schedules. The staff member may only have a short time to meet with you, and arriving late makes that time even shorter. Introduce yourself, and mention your title and affiliation; if you are a constituent of the legislator, be sure to say so as constituents’ issues get the most action. Bring along a fact sheet with you about the issue you are discussing, to help the legislator understand the issue better and to be used later by the legislator to inform other members of the issue. Invite the legislator to visit your program to see the issues firsthand.
Getting Down to Business
Whether you are sending an email, writing a letter, talking on the telephone with a staff member, or sitting across the desk from your representative, these tips for effective advocacy should serve you well.
State the Issue. Organize your points by priority and be clear and brief. If you are speaking about a particular piece of legislation, have the bill/budget number. (You can get this information from Congress.Gov or by calling the Senate or House clerks.)
Have information — facts or personal stories — that backs up your issue. If at any time in the process you are asked a question that you cannot answer, offer to get back to them with the information, and be sure to follow through.
Make a request for a particular action, whether it’s a vote to support a bill, a request to file an amendment, or a motion to move a bill out of a particular committee.
Ask about their position on the issue. You have the right to know where they stand and why. Ask if you can provide the legislator with more information. Invite the legislator to visit your program to see the issues first hand!
After a contact, be sure to follow up with a thank-you letter to your legislator or the staff member with whom you spoke. Review key points that you discussed.
Share on social media your thoughts and experiences as they relate to Community Action Programs. Also many of our pages have icons that you can use to share with your friends and family on social media.
Share this website with friends so they can be aware of MASSCAP and the issues we support.