Setting up meetings with your legislators is easy but may take a little persistence. Because their schedules fill up quickly, schedule your meetings as soon as possible. They are used to people calling them all the time and they'll help you.
Call their office to make an appointment for Thursday, April 20, 2023. Let them know your program serves young people in their district and you are planning to attend YIP Rally Day and would like to meet with them to discuss Youth Intervention. Avoid scheduling meetings from 9:45 am to 10:30 am if possible so you can attend the Rally in the Rotunda.
When you call, you'll likely get your legislator’s voicemail or their legislative assistant. Let them know how many others (adults and young people) will join you. If you get voicemail, state why you are calling and ask for a call back. If they don't call you back in a couple of days, be persistent and call again.
You and/or your program have one state senator and one state representative. However, if your program serves multiple legislative districts you'll want to plan to meet with multiple legislators. You may want to consider splitting your group so you can collectively meet with more legislators.
Use this link to determine who your MN state legislators are. Once on the page, click their image to get their contact information. The map feature is a great way to find all the legislators within the area your programs serve.
Meetings with your legislators are usually for 15 minutes. As you can imagine, they go VERY fast so it's important you have a general strategy and know what you want to convey to them and how you will do it.
Pick one person to be the lead - ideally a young person is BEST. They'll want to know why you are advocating for Youth Intervention so just be honest. Tell them you care so much that you are attending the YIP Rally Day just to speak with them about properly funding Youth Intervention.
Be prepared to share the successes and needs of your programs. They care a great deal about their community and will want to know about your program and what you do. Legislators listen intently to the young people! Plan to have one or two young people briefly share how your program benefits them.
Speak from your heart and only share what you know. You'll know more about your program and Youth Intervention than they do. Be prepared to answer questions from legislators and always answer truthfully.
This is your moment to shine. Harness the energy and momentum you gained from the Rally and do your best to help them understand the value of Youth Intervention. Be polite, use good social manners, but be deliberate.
Right away, hand your legislator the YIP Rally Day Overview Document that will be given to you during the check-in process. Explain that you support the Youth Intervention legislation listed on the document and you want them to support it too.
Be bold! You've come this far so ask them for a firm commitment. If they don't give you one, ask them why they won't commit to supporting young people in their district. The Capitol is a place for polite but firm conversations, don't be intimidated - they are people just like you.
Take photos with your legislators so you can share them on social media, in your newsletters, and in your post-rally press release. Generally speaking, they love to take photos with constituents and will gladly take them with your group.
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