Accountability with Action: 6 Ways to Be an Effective Advocate

6 Ways to Be an Effective Advocate

  1. Get your legislator involved in helping you address the problems created with legislative decisions
  2. Make your legislators more accountable to you
  3. Be more effective and targeted in dealing with representatives and senators
  4. Be assertive and pro-active in getting help from your legislator
  5. Increase your connection with your legislators and keep them working on your behalf
  6. Change the way that elected officials are involved with the people they represent

The Process

  • Register to vote.
  • Figure out your state assembly and senate districts and identify your state assembly person and senator.
  • Make an appointment to meet with your assembly member and your senator.


  • Talk to a couple of people who are also affected by the decisions and ask if they would be willing to go to the meetings with you.
  • Convene with the people before the meeting and develop a plan for the meeting.
  • Go to the meeting and tell the legislator how you are living with the decisions (e.g., budget cuts) and tell them the specific problems you’re having – specific about the problems you’re having.
  • Ask them for help in figuring out how to solve the problem.
  • Once you’ve described your problem, letthe legislator tell you how they are going to help you solve your problems. LISTEN. AVOID LECTURING THEM. If you hear yourself doing all the talking, it means the legislator isn’t talking and you’re letting them off the hook. You want them to be asking you questions about your problem. You want them to talk about ways that they can help you.
  • If they tell you to call an agency, suggest that they call the agency while you wait or you can come back in a few days.
  • Go back in a few days to hear what they found out.
  • Continue to ask your legislator for help on specific problems that you have because of their decisions.

Your goal is to get your legislator to understand your situation and get their help in solving your problem.

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
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