Dos and Don’ts of Legislation

DO

Join us in participating with KY’s Voice for Early Childhood.
Understand the legislative process and your legislator’s perspective. Prepare yourself with clear information to support your case.
Be specific and personal: Stay on topic. Refer to bills and explain how they impact you and your legislator’s community. Share a personal story. Ask about your legislator’s position on the topic.
Form a positive relationship: It’s ok to speak to legislators who don’t support your issue, but understand not everyone sees issues the way you do. Be respectful to legislators and supportive staff too.
End on a good note: Show your appreciation for his/her time.
Leave a document that summarizes your case, and later, send a thank you note summarizing the discussion. Invite legislators, board members, and staff to visit your center.

DON’T

Be argumentative: You must stay calm and avoid coming off as threatening or confrontational. Find a balance between being polite, but firm.
Lose focus: Make sure you stay on topic. Take your time sharing your case, so you don’t ramble or go off topic.
Overwhelm the Conversation: Don’t flood your legislator with too many issues either.
Complain or Beg: Don’t ramble off problem after problem. State your point and offer a solution.
Get frustrated or discouraged: If your legislator isn’t familiar with the issue you’re presenting, misses your appointment, or fails to respond to a message, don’t take it personally. They have very loaded schedules that are always changing.
Guess: If you don’t have an answer to a question, offer to follow-up with an answer instead of guessing.