Remember that your legislator represents all of his or her constituents regardless of party or group affiliation. Don’t condemn a legislator because he or she has taken a position you personally do not agree with.
Try to put yourself in your legislator’s place. Try to understand his or her problem, outlook and aims. By having empathy for the legislator, he or she will be more inclined to listen objectively to your position and understand your problem.
Recognize that there are legitimate differences of opinion. Never be vindictive! Continue to develop the relationship, even though he or she may not vote your way. A legislator who votes against your position one day may be the deciding vote in your favor the next day.
Do not contact your legislator only when you want something done. Invite your legislator to local Board meetings, perhaps as a speaker. Go out of your way to keep in touch throughout the year.
Treat your legislator the way you would like to be treated. Let him or her know that you appreciate the good things they do. The golden rule applies in politics, too.
If a legislator asks for help let him or her know that you can be relied on no matter how busy you are. Your assistance will be appreciated and remembered.
Do not expect everything to go your way. Be ready at all times to consider the issues involved and compromise if necessary.
Always be sure to have the necessary information and to do a good job at presenting your case. The only way to gain credibility is to know the issues thoroughly.
Legislators do not like to be pestered, scolded, preached to, or “loved to death”.
Never stretch the truth to make your argument more saleable. If you learn new facts that would revise your assumptions, do not hesitate to bring the new situation to the attention of the legislator you have been contacting.