Elected Officials: Call ‘em, Email ‘em, Visit ‘em OFTEN!
As it has become increasingly critical that we speak out on issues important to women and girls, the Manatee County Branch developed a way to make it easy for members to call and email their elected officials. They created this branch bookmark [Publisher version link] for members to keep handy and to use often. You can get a template to create one like the image below for the elected officials in your area from Vicki Waters.
The Manatee County and Bradenton Branches are also using the bookmark in joint letters of congratulations they are sending to local women in the news to introduce them to AAUW and to invite these community leaders to join one or both branches. They also plan on approaching the local library system to see if they would allow AAUW to put bookmarks in each library in the county.
Pat DeWitt, our AAUW FL Public Policy Director, is working with national to increase our influence on state legislation. Florida state senators and representatives are drafting and filing legislation right now for the 2018 session which begins January 9, 2018, and if members will attend the county legislative delegation meeting, usually held in October, they will be able to share the bookmark with others who attend the meeting to express their concerns about and support for specific legislative measures – another way to get our names out there.
Where to find the information you need:
- Supervisor of Elections website: The website of most county elections offices generally has a list of elected officials from cities up to federal officials with their contact information. If not, try some of the following sites.
- VoteSmart.org. This link to the Florida information on this website has contact information, but it needs to be double checked for the latest data. It also has lots more information on elected officials’ positions on the issues, ratings by various organizations and lobbyists, votes on key legislation, fundraising, and more.
- Florida Senate and Florida House. In addition to current lists of state senators and representatives and links to further information about them, these websites let you find out what bills they have introduced or sponsored. There are tracking systems for you to request alerts sent directly to your email based on legislation and members you have elected to follow.