Be an Advocate!
Write a Letter to Local Legislators
Click here to see a copy of our sample letter.
Meet Face to Face
By far, the most effective way to express your views to your elected officials is to speak with lawmakers face-to-face. This is the best way to positively affect the outcome of legislation such as Nino's Act.
The first thing you should do if you would like to meet face-to-face with your local lawmaker is to schedule an appointment with your chosen representative. If he or she is unavailable on your selected meeting date, you should meet with the staff member who handles the issue. These meetings are extremely effective.
When you meet with the lawmaker or staffer, make sure to discuss how the legislation will directly affect you, your friends and your family. Personal stories make an impact and truly achieve results. Express your support or disapproval of the legislation and ask that he or she does the same.
Make sure to always be polite during your meeting. After your meeting, you should follow up your visit with a personal letter thanking the lawmaker of staffer for his or her time discussing the issue. A one or two sentence recap of your conversation might be helpful to refresh their memory on the issue at hand. Also, be sure to offer your expertise or assistance on the issue in the future.
One of the most convenient ways to visit your lawmakers is via their local offices, especially if you're a long distance from Washington, DC, or your state capitol. All members of Congress, state legislators, elected officials and many other policymakers have offices near you.
Make a Phone Call
Call a member of the U.S. Senate to advocate for legislation supporting Nino's Act.
Contact list of U.S. Senators on Finance Committee
Writing a Letter to the Editor
Writing a letter to the editor of your local or city paper can be an effective way to advocate your cause. Many people in the community read these letters, including community leaders and lawmakers. Lawmakers often use this section to gauge the public sentiment about current events and issues that are in the news, therefore it is important to write letters about Nino's Act and other rare-disease issues to newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and electronic publications on a regular basis.
When writing a letter to the editor follow these tips to help you gain recognition:
Be Clear, Brief, and Concise in Your Writing
- First you should check the guidelines for your letter, which should be clearly stated on the editorial page or section of the publication.
- You should address your letter "Dear Editor." Your first paragraph should state your purpose for writing.
Make sure to be very clear in your opinion and only discuss one topic.
- Your letter should be brief and to the point.
- It should not exceed more than one page and it should preferably be about 125 words, however check the guidelines of the publication to see if they have a maximum or minimum length requirement.
- Make sure to include your name, address, and phone number on your letter because often times anonymous letters are not accepted.
Make the Focus of Your Letter a Current Issue
- Make sure that you are writing your letter about a current issue, debate, or legislation. Outdated events do not make good letters.
- You should write in support or against legislation on the federal, state, and local level.
Respond only to recently printed stories or editorials.
- By discussing current issues, your letters stand a better chance of getting printed.
Don't Give Up
- Many publications often receive more letters to the editor than they can possibly print. Typically the larger the paper the more letters it will receive.
- If your letter is not published keep trying!
- Even the unpublished letters are read by the editors and your letter might inspire them to cover the topic as a news story.