Get to Know Your Public Officials - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Get to Know Your Public Officials

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Overview

Elected officials represent the needs of their communities. MS activists share how MS has impacted their lives and communicate their needs to elected officials. Start by learning about your elected officials and then work on building your relationship with them.  Strong connections drive change.

Learn about your elected officials

  • Who are your elected officials? Learn about your State and Federal (U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives) public officials.
  • Read about your elected officials: What are their backgrounds? What issues are they passionate about? Do you have any personal connections to them, let us know?
  • Are your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators members of the Congressional MS Caucus? By joining the MS Caucus, legislators have shown a commitment to people affected by MS.

Connect and build relationships with your elected officials

  • If given the opportunity to speak with an elected official, be brief and direct: What is multiple sclerosis, how has it impacted your family and you and how would a policy change enhance or hinder your quality of life until we end MS forever?
  • Write or Call Your Elected Officials: Tell your elected officials what is important to you and to ask for their support. Write a letter or email, or call by phone.
  • Be a Digital Activist: Writing and calling aren’t the only ways to connect with your elected officials anymore—learn about the power of social media and how to be a digital activist.
  • Visit Your Elected Officials: While social media is an increasingly popular and effective way to connect with your elected officials, visiting elected officials in person is still cited as the most effective means to develop a relationship and make an impact. You don’t have to be in Washington, D.C. to visit them, as all federal legislators have offices in their home states, as do of course state legislators. If you’re interested in visiting your elected officials, contact the Society advocacy staff in your area.
  • Attend a Town Hall Meeting: Members of Congress hold regular town hall meetings or listening sessions with constituents in their home states or districts. Usually these are held during Congressional recess. If you’re interested in attending a town hall meeting, call your legislator’s office or check out their website to learn about upcoming town hall meetings relevant to issues you’re passionate about. You can also contact the Society advocacy staff in your area if you need advice on what to say or how best to connect.
  • Stay in Touch: Once you start developing a relationship with your elected officials, it’s critical that you work to maintain the relationship and stay in touch with them. Email or call them occasionally, update them on the issues and thank them when you can.

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Congressional MS Caucus

See if your federal legislators have shown their commitment by joining the MS Caucus.

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