If we want our legislators to cast votes that are in line with our priorities and values, we must let them know what our priorities and values are. If we expect them to vote for adequate school funding and strong standards, or against privatization efforts, we need to be sure that they understand that these are our expectations.
An important first step is to establish strong, positive relationships with your legislators. Reach out to them before the legislative session begins, introduce yourself, and let them know you will be checking in from time to time about legislation that affects public schools. Offer your cell phone number and ask for theirs so that you can easily keep in touch, and ask them to keep you posted about legislation that affects public schools. Let your legislators know that you will be sharing their updates with others in your community.
Reach out to other public school supporters in your community and offer to share your updates with them. There truly is power in numbers.
During the legislative session, call your legislators and let them know, specifically, how you would like for them to vote on a given issue. (Click here to find your legislators.) Forward The Parents’ Campaign’s emails to your family and friends, and ask them to contact their legislators on behalf of public schools. Legislators who get many calls in support of public schools are better able to defend their pro-public education votes when they get pushback from the privatization crowd.
Write letters to the editor to let members of your community know about legislative issues that affect public schools and where your legislators stand on those issues. (See tips on writing letters to the editor.)
Visit your legislators. Come to the Capitol and meet with them about issues of importance to you. Contact us – we’ll be happy to help you plan your visit to the Capitol.
Organize a town hall meeting where legislators can hear from constituents about the needs and concerns of public school parents and educators.
Tell everyone you know – everyone – how your legislators are voting. The people in your community deserve to know how they are being represented at the Capitol. We elect our legislators to vote in the best interests of our communities, and they deserve high praise when they do that well and feedback when they don’t.