In-District Legislator Meetings
We believe that rheumatologists play an important role in delivering quality and cost effective care to the residents of each district across the state. It is important to demonstrate their value to the state and the benefits they bring to the community. It is with this in mind, that we are pleased to offer our resources to help facilitate a face-to-face meeting.
Whether you are a practicing rheumatologist wanting your legislator to come view your practice, or an individual looking to meet at your legislator’s district office to discuss a pressing issue, FSR can help you accomplish your task. Our staff is more than happy to reach out and schedule an appointment at a mutually agreeable time and place.
Face-to-face meetings with legislators are the most effective tools that we, as advocates for the highest quality medical care for rheumatic disease patients, have at our disposal.
The Process of Scheduling Your Meeting
- Email FSR staff at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, office address, and desired date for your meeting/office tour.
- FSR staff will reach out to your legislator’s office, check availability, and find a mutually agreeable date for the meeting/office tour.
- After the meeting is scheduled, FSR will send you materials and literature to review before the meeting/office tour. These materials will offer instructions on how to host a legislator meeting, as well as information on any current legislation regarding rheumatology in the state of Florida.
- You and your legislator will have the meeting/office tour at the agreed upon date. Here, we encourage you to take a photo with your legislator and send it to us to be uploaded to the FSR site and social media platforms. We will also follow up with both you and the legislator to determine if any further action or communication is necessary.
Before the Meeting/Office Tour:
- Take some time to think through your talking points (both those provided by FSR and your own). What’s your angle that makes your points different from everyone else? Know with whom you are meeting. Research the member and their positions.
- Confirm your appointment a day in advance and be prepared for the office to ask if you can reschedule to another time. Legislative offices juggle numerous meetings (with constituents and other offices) as well as political responsibilities, and sometimes changes must be made.
During the Meeting/Office Tour:
- Do not, under any circumstances, bring up a campaign contribution or threaten a member or staffer to not vote for them. It destroys your credibility and may even be illegal. It is, however, ok for you to thank a member for supporting a position in the past that is related to your meeting.
- Mix facts with anecdotes. Legislative offices love facts they can use themselves (especially from constituents), but it is often the personal story that sells the importance of an issue. Make your ask. Always end your meeting asking the member or staff whether they will support your position. Often you will get an ambiguous answer, but politely press them on when you can get an answer.
- Never, ever lie in your meeting. If you do not know something, be honest and say so but promise to send more information in the near future.
After the Meeting/Office Tour:
- Send a thank you note to the person with whom you met and provide any information you promised to provide.
- Give feedback to FSR on how your meeting went and if they need to provide follow-up.