Because Ohio's early care and education system is strongly influenced by the state's budget and policy, most of our advocacy involves working to gain the support of key decision makers. As you prepare to advocate, we recommend setting up a meeting with your legislator to share your concern for and insight into Ohio's early care and education. Review the steps below to prepare for your meeting.
Set Up a Meeting
As you move into the final stages of preparation for your advocacy make sure your taking time to prepare. As you set up a meeting with your legislator, be sure to consider the following:
Meetings with your legislator can be scheduled by calling or emailing their office. All legislators' contact information can be found on The Ohio Legislature's website.
Ohio state legislators work part-time. They often split their weeks between district offices and the statehouse. Reference the session schedule to determine when your legislator will be in your area.
Don't underestimate the impact of meeting with a staff member. If your legislator is unable to meet with you, meeting with a staffer is still an effective way to communicate your concerns.
Determine roles: (if more than one person is presenting) Designate a group leader to open and close the meeting, deliver any leave-behind materials, and keep the discussion moving. Identify a different person to present each issue or main message.
Prepare and practice: If possible, run through what you plan on saying before the meeting. If more than one person is presenting, each person should practice in front of the rest group so you don’t overlap content.
Be confident: There’s no one “right” way to talk with an elected official, but be professional, be confident, and have fun!