Take Lobbying into Your Own Hands

How do I get involved in making a change?

Visit your legislator

  • Make an appointment.
  • Be prepared!
  • Be on time!
  • Begin with a warm introduction.
  • Briefly and concisely share your experiences, first-hand knowledge of the need for legislation about your reason for your visit.
  • Leave written materials if possible.
  • Offer to get more information, if needed.
  • Leave on a positive note, keeping the door open for future contact.

Call your legislator

  • Give your name and address.
  • Speak directly to the senator or delegate, if possible.
  • Be brief and concise.
  • Focus on the issue.
  • Indicate your position and why.
  • Use a bill number, if known.
  • Be sure your message is understood.

Write your legislator

  • Use correct form of address.
  • Elected officials are addressed: The Honorable (full name)
  • Focus on ONE issue.
  • Briefly identify your interest in the issue and describe your experiences.
  • Use a bill number, if known.
  • Be positive and constructive.
  • Ask questions that require a response.
  • Enclose informational materials, if any.
  • Follow up with a thank you letter.

Essentials to lobbying your legislator

  • Find out committee and subcommittee assignments of your senator and delegate.
  • Visits are better than letters, but when writing send personal letters; form letters do not get the legislator’s attention.
  • Share your experiences and reasons for concern.
  • Remember, your experiences are special. Be positive, friendly, and personal
  • Be persistent. It takes time and effort to achieve change. Before the General Assembly Session
  • Visit your senator or delegate at their home office.
  • Identify the legislative priorities of NASW-VA.
  • Motivate your friends and family to make contact with their senator and delegate.

During the General Assembly Session

  • Identify legislation in which you are interested. Legislation that is supported by NASW-VA will be posted on the website. Please check the website regularly for updates.
  • Use the Internet. The internet provides you with a wealth of information such as bill tracking and all kinds of updates as if you were in
  • Richmond at the capital yourself.
  • Follow the legislation through action of subcommittee and committee, making sure to contact your senator or delegate at each step of the journey.
  • Telephone contact is often necessary when legislation is moving fast.
  • Attend subcommittee and committee meetings or check the state website for updates on legislation.
  • When legislation reaches the floor, call your senator or delegate.

After the General Assembly Session

  • Write letters of appreciation to those who were helpful to you and supported your issues as well as the issues of NASW-VA.

Important Websites: