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- DO Identify yourself as a specialist in the field of sexual assault.
- DO learn members' committee assignments and where their specialties lie.
- DO present the need for what you are asking the Member to do. Use data or cases that you know.
- DO tell what survivors need to have laws work better for them.
- DO relate situations in their district.
- DO tell how you are utilizing funds now.
- DO ask the Representative or Senator's position and why.
- DO tell what proposed legislation could do to help your clients.
- DO — in case of voting records — ask why they voted a particular way.
- DO show openness to the knowledge of counter-arguments and respond to them.
- DO admit when you don't know. Offer to try to find out the answer and send information back to the office.
- DO spend time with a Member whose position is against yours. You can lessen the intensity of the opposition and perhaps change it.
- DO spend time developing a relationship with the Members' staff.
- DO use the Legislative Agenda in your lobbying visit.
- DO show how your program works together with those addressing related issues.
- DON'T overload a visit with too many issues.
- DON'T confront, threaten pressure or beg.
- DON'T be argumentative. Speak with calmness and commitment so as not to put them on the defensive.
- DON'T overstate the case. Members are very busy and you are apt to lose their attention if too wordy.
- DON'T expect Members to be specialists. Their schedules and work loads tend to make them generalists.
- DON'T be put off by smokescreens or long winded answers. Bring Members back to the point.
- DON'T make promises you can't deliver.
- DON'T shy away from meetings with legislators whose view is opposite your own.
- DON'T be offended if a legislator is unable to meet and requests you meet with their staff.