Mobilize Law Makers
Build Your Own Safe Routes to School District Policy!
Check out this new tool from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. The amazing new interactive policy tool walks you through the needed steps to develop your own Safe Routes to School district policy!
Mobilize Congress and other Leaders
Please keep in mind if you chose to directly lobby a law maker, these activities cannot be supported by federal funds. You can do it, thank you; we fully appreciate your commitment to furthering all of our work, but do not bill the activities for federal fund reimbursement.
There are many ways to be an advocate for ideas we care about. As Safe Routes to School advocates we care about making sure walking and biking to school is safe, fun and efficient.
Communicate: Writing a letter to your state representative or visiting a senator's district office is effective and it shouldn't be scary. Politicians depend on input from their constituents as a way to understand public opinion and be educated about issues unfamiliar to them. They can't be experts on everything that is happening in their districts, but constituents and political aides help provide necessary input to the official's decision-making process.
Communication by any method can seem intimidating, but remember, the legislator needs your well-researched and organized thoughts to make decisions that will be appropriate and benefit you, your community, your patrons, and your audience. Do your homework and take time to organize a persuasive presentation. Decide which method is the most appropriate under your circumstances and for your needs. In addition if you are polite, respectful, and reasonable and show that you want to work together to resolve the issue you are more likely to be successful.
- Identify yourself. Anonymous calls will be ignored.
- State that you are a constituent.
- Focus on one issue.
- Be brief. State your purpose for calling in the first few sentences of the conversation. If you are calling about a piece of legislation, identify it appropriately.
- State your message. Be precise about the action you wish the legislator to take.
- Include facts and personal experiences briefly. Stress how it affects you, your business, your organization, your community and provide examples.
- Do not be scolding or "preachy" in your approach. Be practical about the benefits or problems with the legislation to make your case.
- Offer your services to provide materials or experiences that will support your position.
- Provide your phone number and address
- Be courteous at all times and thank the aide or legislator for their time.
Site Visit: Site visits are very effective, and can be done by all SRTS supporters, including kids! Our congressional site visit guide is good, and is appropriate for organizing any kind of site visit, although it does contain specific language about visits with members. Locals should know who their power people are at local, state and federal levels, and get them out to a ‘cute kid’ event that also includes problem spots like dangerous street crossings. Try using the following worksheets to develop and plan for effective, interesting and memorable newsworthy events.
These below worksheets are from Safe Routes to School National Partnership Advocacy Tool Box.
The Partnership has many resources above and beyond those listed here. Please keep us all informed with the great work you are doing locally to help with local and national legislation.