Guidance for Legislative Action
Thank you for helping to pass important climate legislation. To make it easier for busy moms and grandmoms, you will be able to find all the links you need and details of the work to be done here.
Below we ask that you update certain information in the Legislators Tracking spreadsheet on your team’s progress in working with your legislator.
The goal of legislative action in January is to enlist Representatives to co-sponsor MOF’s two priority bills, which were chosen by the Legislation Team.
- Rep Jennifer Benson’s Carbon Pricing bill, which creates a fair price on carbon emissions.
- Rep Lori Ehrlich’s FUTURE bill, which focuses on the gas utilities (FUTURE is an acronym: For a Utility Transition to Using Renewable Energy).
One person should be the legislative advocate for your team in January.
- The legislative advocate gets help from others on the team, but she is the lead for this initial effort.
- Find that person’s name and contact information in a comment on the Legislators Tracker.
- Share the MOF Webinar on Lobbying Legislators the MOF Way. Here are the slides with great info about how to run a meeting with a legislator. Please share with your team.
Schedule of Events
- Tuesday January 22, 8-9 AM. Webinar on the FUTURE bill. RSVP Here.
- Thursday January 24th 11-3:00pm. Mass Power Forward Lobby Day. RSVP here and also email Sue Swanson sueswanson2003 at gmail dot com about team members attending.
- Tuesday January 29th time tba. Clean Energy Future (carbon pricing coalition) Lobby Day. Email Sue Swanson sueswanson2003 at gmail dot com about team members attending.
Week of January 14 (Legislative Advocate + helpers if needed)
1. Set up a meeting with your legislators for a date between January 22-31.
- If you haven’t already done so, set up an in-person meeting with your Representative, including a location. If you don’t know it, contact information for your Rep can be found here for the State House of Representatives. Don’t worry about Senators for now.
- If more than one legislator represents your community, set up meetings with all of them. If you have to limit the meetings you can manage, focus on an in-person meeting with the one whose district includes most of your community. Phone the others.
Meetings should be held between Jan. 18 (bill filing deadline) and Jan. 31, in order to give them time to act. The co-sponsorship deadline for House bills is Friday, Feb. 1st.
- Legislators are busy this time of year, so be polite but persistent.
- If no time is available with your rep, request a meeting with an aide.
- If even that is not possible, talk on the phone with one or the other and follow up with an email that includes your ‘asks’ as well as a list of the constituents who would have attended the meeting and all the relevant supporting documents on both bills. Follow-up after a few days to find out what has been done.
- Enter the date and time of your meeting here for your Rep. If it is only a phone call, enter that as well.
- Invite your team and other supporters to attend the meeting. Try to get at least 5 people to attend. This is a great time to “Show Up and Shirt Up!” MOF t-shirts are a good visual reinforcement, but are not necessary. This is a great way to engage new members. Recruit at least one attendee to be photographer.
2. Review Guidelines for Effective Legislative Meetings
Mothers Out Front offers the following resources for you to choose from:
- Review the document: Tips for planning a meeting with elected officials
- View the slides from the Webinar on Lobbying Legislators the MOF Way. This is particularly useful for the Community Team legislative advocates and others interested in reaching out to legislators.
3. Familiarize yourself with the legislation, but YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AN EXPERT!
You’ll probably be more successful if someone in your group knows some details about these bills, but you don’t have to be an expert. Talking points are on the fact sheets, click here for Carbon Pricing, click here for FUTURE bill. You are a mother, not a professional lobbyist! Your stories about why you are interested in these bills and why you are committed to climate action are just as important.
Encourage your community team to attend one of the Legislative Lobby Days at the State House on January 24 (run by Mass Power Forward) or January 29 (Mass Campaign for a Clean Energy Future). This is particularly important if you can’t set up an individual meeting.
Weeks of January 21-31 (Legislative Advocate + Helpers)
- January 22, 8-9 AM. Attend the Webinar on the FUTURE bill.
- Meet with your legislator and report progress on the Master Tracker.
- Lobbying Days at the State House. If you were unable to have an in-person meeting, take advantage of the lobbying days at the state house with Mass Power Forward on January 24th RSVP here and indicate you’re with MOF. You can also join a lobby day with the carbon pricing coalition January 29th (RSVP will be added to the webpage soon). Please contact Sue Swanson sueswanson2003 at gmail dot com if you know team members will be attending either lobby day.
- Follow-up: Send a thank you note to the Rep (or aide) for meeting with you and for co-sponsoring if the legislator has agreed. Thank him/her even if they can’t co-sponsor.
- If you were not able to meet in person, call the office and ask whether your Rep has signed on to co-sponsor both bills.
- Ask your community team members to sign up for MOF Action Alerts to get notified when we need everyone to call or email their legislators.
- Take a deep breath and relax! Your hard work will make a difference. We will be calling on you in the coming weeks and months, but now is time for a break. Thank-you!!