What is your summer strategy for engaging your electeds?
Do you have a summer strategy for engaging with your county commissioners and elected legislators? You should. This is the time of year when the Legislature is not in session and few committees are meeting. The weather is improving and your conservation projects from prior years are greening up. This is the perfect time of year to renew relationships with your important elected and give them a chance to experience the conservation work you do.
Who are your legislators and how do you contact them?
If you haven’t previously engaged with your legislators, go to https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/ to find out who they are. The Legislative Information Center also lists ways you can contact your legislators.
Ideas for field events with legislators
Field tours depend largely on familiarity with your conservation district and the interests of legislators and other elected officials. For districts who have a relationship with their local elected officials a potential list of sites likely already exists of projects discussed in previous meetings, from prior field tours, or that they might be otherwise familiar with. Being able to take a legislator out to a successful site and say, ” this is what you helped create” has multiple benefits. Not only are you presenting proof of turning promises into projects, but also are providing real examples of a district’s activities. So use that familiarity to your advantage.
In instances where a previous relationship doesn’t exist, it can be harder to create a successful field tour. In some instances, inspiration can be found from their website, campaign platform, or endorsements. If all else fails, asking the person you want to invite out is a guaranteed method.
Here are a few online resources that may help stimulate your thinking as you plan a field event or field day for your legislators. Additionally, many conservation districts host elected officials during Conservation Commission tours and could provide you with their insights.
- Planning a Site Visit with Your Legislator
- Tips for Hosting a Successful Visit with an Elected Official (PDF)
- Prepare a field station or lab tour for your legislators
We also invite you to share your best tips and practices with our Washington State conservation community. WACD is the Washington Association of Conservation Districts staff are also available to provide assistance and support.
Previous posts on engagement and advocacy
- Welcome to the 2021 regular session of the Washington State Legislature
- Support Letter Template Available
- Establishing and Maintaining Relationships with Lawmakers (PDF from NACD is the National Association of Conservation Districts)
- Tips to engage elected officials and decision makers (PDF from WSCC is the Washington State Conservation Commission)
In case those external downloads fail, we include them here as direct downloads from the Hub.