How to Work with Legislators
The Rev. Dr. R. David Cox, rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Hot Springs, Va., (Diocese of Southwestern Virginia), is also an elected city councilman in Lexington, Va.
His eight-point outline for how to work successfully with legislators:
- Be early: Don’t wait until the last second to get involved.
- Be brief: Legislators are extremely busy people, too.
- Be clear: Make one point, and make it well.
- Be reasonable: Legislators can only do so much. Ask of them only what they can accomplish.
- Be appropriately passionate: Don’t overdo it.
- Be nice: Courtesy counts for everything.
- Be grateful: Send a note and thank them for their time and effort, and if they vote the way you want, let them know you appreciate that.
- Make connections, both with legislators and other organizations, denominations and jurisdictions: If you can work together with others, so much the better. See what you can do to work with other cities and counties as well, so that there can be a greater sense of groundswell.
Government Contact Information
Not sure who your delegate is? Want to know who your state senator is? Find out on the Virginia General Assembly search engine, Who’s My Legislator? On virginiageneralassembly.gov, you can also follow specific legislation as it moves through the General Assembly.