Volunteer your time.

One of the most direct ways you can get to know and influence legislators is to offer them your time on a campaign. You may perform some basic tasks, but the time you spend in the campaign office will allow you to develop relationships with the legislator and their staff. By building and maintaining these relationships, you will be surprised how much influence you can have.

Call the office.

One benefit of calling your legislator’s office is that you can ask for the staffer who handles issues related to occupational safety and health. You might not be able to get the exact person who advises the legislator, but you will probably reach someone who can at least relay the message. When you call or leave a message, it is always a good idea to:

  1. Identify yourself by name, employer, job title, and membership to ASSE.
  2. State your purpose early in the phone call. Be sure that you identify the legislation by the name and the bill’s number.
  3. If you speak with a staffer, ask them if they are familiar with the issue or particular piece of legislation. If not, explain why you care about the issue and what the legislation would accomplish.
  4. Thank the staffer for taking the time to speak with you.

If you are unable to get someone on the phone, request to leave a voicemail for the advisor that deals with policy issues related to occupational health and safety. Be sure to identify yourself, state the reason for your call clearly, and if you are comfortable – leave contact information for them should they have any further questions.

Meeting with your members of Congress

When Congress is not in session at the federal and state levels, most legislators return to their hometown for a chance to reconnect with their constituents. You can call the legislator’s office in your state’s capitol and inquire when their next “town hall” or other constituent meeting will be held. When you attend, you can let them know your position on the issue of concern. Your other option is to call the office and try to schedule a meeting with your legislator or someone on his or her staff. You can do the same thing for your Senators and Representatives by calling their office in Washington, DC.

Be sure to develop comprehensive talking points before your meeting so you have a prepared list of topics to cover.


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