Developing Legislator Relationships
It’s been said that life is all about relationships, and advocacy is no different. It’s all about who you know. And to a greater degree, who knows you. In advocacy, a relationship with your legislator is absolutely vital. It may seem intimidating at first, but with the proper tools and knowledge, building a legislative relationship can be quite easy. It just takes some time, patience, and motivation.
Benefit of developing a relationship with your Legislator
what YOU want (that LEGISLATORS have)
- Ability to Change Policies
- A platform to be heard and champion YOUR cause, issue or problem
- Ability to make things better/improve
what LEGISLATORS want (that YOU have)
- Expertise on issues
- Front-line facts
- Real world knowledge
Once you have built a relationship with your legislator, the hardest part is over. Now that you know your legislator and your legislator knows you, engaging in advocacy will become easier and more comfortable.
While all constituents are important to a legislator, they are not all treated equally. With a relationship built on trust, your letters, e-mails, faxes, and phone calls carry more weight. Your legislator will look at you not only as a constituent, but as a reliable inside source of relevant and vital information. You become their link to HIV/AIDS related issues in South Carolina.