Advocating During a Virtual Legislative Session

  • March 1, 2021

Tips and Tricks

Lawmakers work on many issues including education, health care, transportation, employment, the economy, and more. They look to constituents living in their districts to give them reliable information on issues they are addressing. Your voice is not only needed - its welcome.

Tennesseans with disabilities have diverse and unique experiences. Your elected officials represent you, but they can’t do this well if they don’t know what you want and need. Sharing your knowledge of disabilities with lawmakers helps them do their jobs.

Communicating with legislators and establishing a relationship over time allows you to become a resource about disability issues. In-person meetings with elected officials are often the best way to connect on important issues. However, during the pandemic, the legislature is mostly closed to in-person visits. This doesn’t have to stop our advocacy efforts though. Below are some tips and tricks for staying engaged during the pandemic.

STAY INFORMED

  • Follow your representatives on social media
  • Attend Disability Day on the Hill 2021 virtually – 2021 Legislative Events 
  • Watch legislative sessions live on their website – TN Legislature 

CONNECT IN NEW WAYS

  • Schedule phone calls or videoconference meetings 
  • Email your legislators
  • Write letters to your legislators

USE EXPERT ADVOCACY APPROACHES

  • Be on time for meetings, no matter how you connect.
  • Be positive and friendly.
  • State the reason you’re getting in contact.
  • Provide reliable information.
  • Provide the names of people who can be resources and give additional information.
  • If you say you will provide additional information, be sure to get back to them.
  • Follow up with a thank you letter.

Find your legislators

 

1/2021

Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) is a nonprofit legal services organization that provides free legal advocacy services to protect the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities.

Middle Tennessee (Admin Office)

2 International Plaza, Suite 825
Nashville, TN 37217

Phone: 615-298-1080
Fax: 615-298-2046

East Tennessee

9050 Executive Park Drive, Suite 101-B
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: 865-670-2944
Fax: 865-470-7028

West Tennessee

1407 Union Avenue, Suite 1015
Memphis, TN 38104

Phone: 901-458-6013
Fax: 901-249-2933