Keep building relationships with elected officials by sending a thank-you note

The 2015 legislative session is over — but our advocacy efforts are not. One of the most important steps to effective advocacy is to follow up with a sincere “thank you” to your legislators.

Please take the time to thank your elected officials for responding to your concerns — especially if they responded in a way that reflected your positions. Even if they did not, it is still a valuable part of developing relationships for the next session.

One of the most effective ways to express your appreciation to an elected official is to write a letter. To help motivate you, please see the following helpful tips.

Personal letters are best! This is the most effective method of communication. A personal note needs to take only a few minutes of your time. Notes and email messages are just as meaningful as a formal letter.

Let them know you are a constituent and school board member. Clearly identify yourself as a school board member. Include your home address, phone number and email address. Your contact information identifies you as a constituent.

What do I say? Keep it simple. Say “thank you” for supporting your school district through the E-12 Education Bill (HF1 – Special Session Bill). Include the components of the bill that impact your school district the most:

  • Increase of 2 percent each year on the basic education formula
  • Long-term facilities maintenance for all schools districts
  • Increase in concurrent enrollment
  • Addressing teacher shortage

Visit http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts for find your local legislators.

Visit http://www.mnmsba.org/Portals/0/PDFs/SampleThankYouLetterForLegislators.pdf for a sample thank-you letter.

There are other ways to give elected officials credit for their good work: a letter acknowledging their hard work in the community newspaper, hosting a casual meet-and-greet with your neighbors, or inviting them to a site visit at a school to go over the impact of the legislative session. Remember, the goal is to build long-term relationships with elected officials.

“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” — G.B. Stern

About mnmsba

The Minnesota School Boards Association, a leading advocate for public education, supports, promotes and strengthens the work of public school boards.
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