Meeting legislators can have a valuable impact on your business. By building relationships with your elected officials, you can become a valuable advisor and resource to that legislator on tobacco-specific issues and on other matters that impact your business. Let your legislator know that you are an employer in the district and ask him or her to oppose further tax hikes on tobacco and other consumer-goods products that you sell.
To help build and maintain relationships, you can:
Be a registered voter -
Your vote provides you with a voice in government. Your vote does matter. Talk about the issues with people, and encourage them to let their opinions be heard through their votes.
Send an e-mail or letter.
Contact your legislators and share your views and opinions. For assistance, go to www.TransformTobacco.com and click on the "Act Now" button to quickly and easily contact your legislators, or call the toll-free tobacco hotline to be connected to their offices - 1-866-658-8337.
Meet your legislator at
the district office.
There's nothing more effective than a one-on-one meeting. Be prepared for your discussion and make your comments brief and specific. Following the meeting, send a thank-you note, and use the note to recap your discussion and key points.
Build a relationship with
We often need to work through staff members to make appointments and pass messages. Always thank them for their assistance.
Invite your legislator to your retail store.
Invite your legislator to meet you and your employees at your place of business to discuss issues of importance. Make the visit a photo opportunity. Following the visit, send a thank-you note to recap your discussion, and include a copy of the photo.
Participate in town meetings.
This is a good opportunity to meet your legislator and to express your views and concerns. Learn about the issues facing your community. Meet others who support the same causes you do. Voice your opinion.
Participate in your trade association's "Day on the Hill" at your state capitol.
Plan to attend your trade association's "Day on the Hill" and arrange to meet with legislators at their offices at the state capitol.