Dos and don'ts of engaging with elected leaders

Public Policy,

Engaging with elected officials and their staff should be an important tool in your program’s outreach and engagement strategy. Having meetings with them allows you to share the benefits your programs provide to their constituents and learn about any transportation challenges that may be facing your community. 

If you have never met with your local elected leaders before, it may seem daunting, but once you have, you will greatly appreciate the opportunity and look forward to regular meetings.

To help you, ACT’s Public Policy Committee has put together resources for you on our website and some quick tips below to start you off. Are you wondering what to prepare, topics to avoid, or how to develop a strong relationship with elected leaders? Check out these tips below and visit the "take action" for more ways to take action.

Tip 1: Reach out to your local member of Congress or elected leader’s office to schedule a meeting. Before meeting, take time to learn about their transportation interests and priorities.

Tip 2: During your meeting, tell your TDM story – sharing successes and positive impacts to the community and their constituents. Real-life examples are impactful to have on hand. Focus on 2-3 main talking points so the person doesn’t forget what is most important.

Tip 3: Share the benefits of TDM policies and programs in creating an efficient, multimodal transportation system. Make sure to avoid using too many acronyms. 

Tip 4: Have an ask prepared! “Can we get your support for our TDM program funding?” “Can we get you to attend a future event/meeting?”

Tip 5: Leave information behind for their reference – an annual report, program pamphlets, and/or a business card. Thank them for their time, offer your assistance, and let them know you look forward to future meetings.