Staying Connected To Your Legislators

Austin’s own Sandy Tesch and Nancy Cline have created a new legislative handout for you to use when setting up a virtual meeting with legislators.

Staying Connected to Your Legislators Virtually
The 2021 Texas Legislative Session

1.  Get to know your elected officials, especially those that represent you.

  • Request a virtual office visit with your legislator
  • Use an interactive software such as Zoom, GoToMeeting or Microsoft Teams
  • Invite your legislator to attend a component meeting virtually and speak for 15 minutes
  • Take photos of your computer screen during these meetings/visits and post on social media

2.  Plan your virtual meeting.

  • Request a virtual meeting in the legislator’s district or capitol office
  • Send a reminder notification
  • Test all technology prior to the meeting (video, wi-fi, screen sharing)
  • Establish connection about ten minutes before meeting begins
  • Set aside all distractions (children, pets, television, music)

3.  Send supportive TDHA resource materials before the virtual meeting.

  • The legislator may not be familiar with dental hygienists and TDHA’s issues
  • You may want to share information about local anesthesia, expanded practice settings and tele-dentistry (GAC can provide fact sheets to guide the discussion)
  • If appropriate, share statistics that show Texas ranking at the bottom on oral health issues

4.  Share your agenda ahead of time.

  • Purpose of the visit is to introduce yourself
  • Explain you are in legislator’s district
  • Explain you are a member of TDHA
  • Share your professional education
  • Express your concerns about access to care
  • Tell about how Covid-19 has affected your employment

5.  Be politically correct.

  • All politics are local
  • Be sure legislator knows that you live in his/her district and that you vote
  • Do not give misinformation
  • Do not be afraid to say,” I don’t know but I will get back to you”
  • Discuss any opposition to an issue (such as TDA)

6.  Be prompt, punctual and prepared.

  • Know the committees on which your legislator serves
  • Be gracious if legislator is late or cancels at the last minute
  • Talk to staff if legislator cannot be on meeting
  • Make the connection between legislator’s interests/committees and access to care
  • Respect the reserved meeting time

7.  Things to consider when ending the meeting.

  • Get contact information for everyone you connected with electronically
  • Leave your contact information
  • Offer to be the dental hygiene resource for the legislator

8.  Things to do after the virtual meeting.

  • ALWAYS send a thank you note, written or electronic
  • “Friend” your legislator through social media sites
  • Maintain ongoing communication through texts and emails       

9.  Help candidates get elected by volunteering.  IT TAKES TIME TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP!

  • Make a financial contribution if you are able
  • Write letters on their behalf
  • Display yard signs
  • Work phone banks
  • Block walk in their districts
  • Respond promptly to Calls for Action from TDHA Lobbyist and Legislative Director


One thought on “Staying Connected To Your Legislators

  1. Pingback: TDHA 2020 Board meeting wrap up | GADHA

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