Requesting a Legislative Meeting
It can be scary meeting with a legislator or a staffer if you don't have confidence. Hopefully, you have learned what is important to you in Modules 1 and 2. Now, you need to practice! Even though AOTA Hill Day is one time a year, you can meet with your legislator throughout most of the year- it's their job!
You likely won't meet directly with your legislator, but a staffer who acts as the liaison between the constituent and the legislator. From experience, writing an email is the best way to request a meeting. Here is a sample email template used by experience while requesting to meet with Massachusetts State Senators and Representatives.
Example email template requesting a meeting
Dear [Name of Local, State, or Federal Legislator],
[Brief intro to you!] I am writing as a constituent of your district. I am an occupational therapist at MGH and I proudly teach as an adjunct faculty member at Boston University.
[Show you know your stuff!] Late in 2015, Massachusetts was awarded a planning grant of about $980,000 to gather stakeholder input regarding the establishment of federally certified community behavioral health centers (CCBHC). The centers represent an opportunity to include occupational therapy as part of community health services. Occupational therapy is an essential therapy to be included in the CCBHCs, as OT can address skills needed to cope with mental illness, while providing the skills to lead productive lives in the community.
[State your request] I would love to set up a meeting with you, or your staff, to discuss occupational therapy and to educate my students how to hold a congressional meeting with a legislator. Our meeting can be as brief or as small (in size) as appropriate with your schedule.
Thank you for considering meeting with me to learn about occupational therapy and to assist with advocacy efforts of our students.
Have a wonderful day. I look forward to hearing from you.