Contacting Elected Officials
Elected Officials need to hear from YOU, their constituent, about why Single Payer Healthcare is so important. Here are a few ways you can do this:
1. Letters, postcards, and phone calls
Calling and writing to elected officials really matters! They tally up how many calls and letters/ postcards they get on a subject. One way to make sure you get lots of calls and letters is to organize a phone bank. At a phone bank you invite people to one location, distribute a script for them to follow, and give them the numbers of elected officials. You might want to provide coffee or snacks!
Another technique is a letter or postcard writing party. Provide attendees with postcards, postage, and addresses, and give them talking points, such as these. Write one postcard per talking point!
2. Attend public events with candidates/elected officials
Often, candidates will hold events such as meet and greets, coffee hours, and debates or forums where you can ask questions. Elected officials will also frequently hold town halls or public forums, or more intimate coffee hours. Show up and ask them about single payer! Make sure they are asked multiple times, not just once--just once, and they can avoid it. If they're asked multiple times, they will be forced to actually think about the issue. Watch this recent video of a public Q & A session with Senator Debbie Stabenow. (Scroll forward to the 30' mark to hear one of our members ask her about single payer!) Watch this video of a lawmaker in Virginia being convinced to support HR 676, the single payer bill in the House, by attendees to his town hall.
3. Schedule office visits with elected officials
Most officials, especially Democrats, will at least schedule an appointment with you to hear you out. Be sure to dress appropriately, and bring people who will tell their personal stories of how the healthcare system, including Obamacare, has failed them. Bring the top ten talking points.
Also bring this one pager describing our coalition, so they know this is more than just a few people!
Remember that most elected officials are not going to change their stance on the spot, so you will have to continue working with them. Read "in between the lines" -- are there hints on what might make them change their minds?
If they will not change their minds, and will not meet with you, you will need to move to agitation!