Introducing your Elected Officials to your Human Dignity Group
After every election cycle, ROP encourages local groups to sit down with their newly (re)elected officials, orient them to your group, and initiate/deepen a relationship. Even if your group knows your state legislators already, a formal meeting establishes a working relationship for policy decisions. These gatherings can be as simple as one or two human dignity group leaders having coffee for 30 minutes with your newly elected official or setting aside time to meet with him/her during your group’s regular December or January meeting. The goal is to get on the radar of your elected officials and to build a relationship that lasts through the legislative session.
Having an initial get-to-know-you meeting with your state legislators now will also make for a more productive visit with them in Salem on March 15-16th as part of the ROP’s 2009 Rural Caucus and Lobby Day!
WHY THIS ACTIVITY? Last month’s elections marked a significant shift in our nation’s political climate – and created the opening for a more progressive politics to take hold. At the same time, the current financial crisis challenges all of us to fundamentally reevaluate our economy – and how our local, state and national budgets reflect (or not) our priorities. To take advantage of these openings, we must engage our community members in demanding the democracy we desire while also getting our group’s agenda (and people power) noticed by our newly elected officials.
STEPS TO COMPLETE THE ACTIVITY:
- Select a few dates that will work for your group to meet with your state legislators.
- Choose a group member to call up your legislators and schedule a time to meet. (Try to make this call before December 15th as we all get focused on the holidays after that). Contact information for your legislators can be found on the Oregon Legislature Website (http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/home.htm).
- Decide how to share your group’s legislative priorities and agenda. You may want to use the grid below as a starting point. This grid is the starting place for ROP’s 2009 Legislative Platform. We need your feedback to make sure this reflects your community’s needs and priorities. Let us hear from you with ideas, suggestions, and questions!
- Set an agenda for the gathering. (Consider this sample agenda.)
- Be sure to send a thank you card after the meeting.
- Consider what other elected officials your group might want to meet with. Are there new city councilors or county commissioners that it is especially strategic for your group to have a relationship with?
ROP’s 2009 Legislative Platform (Under Construction – Help Us Build It!)
In the 2009 Legislature, ROP will raise up a legislative platform that says NO to the Cost of War at Home and Abroad and YES to Rebuilding our Communities. We are still developing this platform, but below are some initial ideas from the ROP board. Do these priorities resonate with your community? What’s missing? Feel free to use this grid to refine your own legislative agenda – and please share your thoughts with us at ROP so we can take them into account as we finalize our statewide agenda by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
NO to the Cost of War at Home and Abroad * YES to Rebuilding our Communities
|Peace & Real Security||
|Safety & Dignity for All People||
|Sustainable, Community-Centered Economics