TEACH CT - The Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers

Tips for Meeting with Your Legislator

Our Goal:  To put a positive face on home- schooling and express thanks to our legislators for serving.

It is important to develop open, personal communication with your government representatives, at both the state and federal levels. It does make a difference. They know that if you are taking the time to contact them, you will take the time to vote—for or against them depending on their record—and encourage others to do the same. 

 

Meeting Your Legislator

1.  Find your legislator here: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CGAFindLeg.asp

2.  Find the phone number here: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/Content/Townlist.asp.  

3.  Make an appointment:  Request to speak to the legislator’s aide and request a brief meeting 
     to introduce yourself to your legislator- approximately 15 minutes.  You might also check and
     see if they are planning to have a “Meet and Greet” in your district, or if they would be willing to
     meet locally with you.

4.  Meet with your legislator:  If meeting to discuss a particular bill, meet with your legislator by
     yourself, if possible.  This is not the time to introduce the whole family (unless it is for Capitol
     Day, in which case children would be appropriate). See below for Conversation Starters and 
     Tips on Talking

Conversation Starters

Find out where they stand on the following topics:

  • Vouchers

  • Mandated vaccination education for religious exempting parents

  • Student data privacy protection

  • Parental rights in general

You do not have to identify yourself as a homeschooler or bring up the topic of homeschooling unless you want to, or they ask.

 

Tips on Talking

• Graciousness:  We are friendly, not hostile.  The majority of homeschoolers have chosen 
   to homeschool because we want the best for our children.

• Investment:  Remember that trust and relationships take time.  Don’t expect to “convince”
  during the first meeting.  If this is your first meeting, view it as your introduction, your first 
  impression.  Remember to be gracious!

• Listening (and talking):

    - Be brief - If you are asked questions about homeschooling, keep your answers 
      brief and wait for more questions.

    Listen to what may be the underlying concern behind a question.  Don’t assume 
      you’ve guessed correctly- ask!  “It sounds like you’re concerned about____? Is that
      correct?”  If not, you can answer the real concern.

    - Be Honest - If you don’t know the answer, let them know you’ve heard the question 
      and ask if you can get back to them with more information. (Ex: “I haven’t thought of 
      -or- I’m not familiar with the issue you’ve raised.  I’d like to do some research and get 
      back to you on that.”)  Then follow up!

    - Express appreciation - Our legislators put in long hours and are rarely thanked!  
      If they have taken the time to talk with you, or meet with you privately, please remember 
      to thank them for that, regardless of whether or not you agree with their positions.  A 
      handwritten note is also appreciated because it has become a rarity.

 Be Prayerful: Most importantly, seek God’s guidance and help, keeping in mind that, 
  “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”  James 5:16