Talk to Representatives
Steps on Talking to Your Community and Political Leaders:
Your elected representatives can be champions, and you can let them know their constituents demand that they do the right thing.
- Start with a brief phone call or email requesting action or asking for a meeting, and follow up by phone. This is often one out of a hundred other emails that they receive. Tell them why this topic is urgent and important to you. If the action or meeting is about an active regulatory motion, please let them know.
- Be polite, you want them to call you back and respect your view. Politicians are humans, they too will just delete rude and angry emails.
- Do your research, know who you are meeting / their name/ position, know enough about who you are meeting with so you know the issues they care about, perhaps how they voted on related issues, if an elected official, what electoral district they represent and how this issue affects your community. Anticipate the types of questions they’ll ask.
- Do not prejudge, demean or demand. Be open to hearing and understanding their perspective. Not everything you may have read about them in the media is true, find ways to connect your issue to their interests. If they’re already onside – don’t waste their time giving them information they may likely already know. Instead, ask them how to advance the issue.
- Show your evidence of concern and be detailed in your request.
- Get their support on record, ask them to sign a petition or take an action that you can track. Suggest ways you can share their positive work and progress with the public.
- Applaud and share the news when leaders do the right thing, this will encourage further work for oceans and the environment.