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What We Do
The Florida Psychological Association is committed to protecting your scope of practice and with educating our elected officials about the wonderful work you do. Every year, members of the Legislative Affairs and Public Policy Board (LAPPB) work with our Central Office staff and lobbyists to advance our goals. We attend fundraisers, testify in committees, and meet with officials one-on-one to answer questions and share concerns. Click any link below to learn more about our efforts.

 


 

You Can Help

FPA relies upon our Key Psychologist Network to develop relationships with their local legislators.  Our Key Psychologists are needed to talk to legislators about our issues and educate them about psychology. Please consider participating in this process as a Key Psychologist,. Click here to volunteer!

You can find your legislators below:  

 

Find your Florida Senator here.

Find your Florida State Representative here.

 


Tips on Meeting with Your Elected Officials

From your local city council to your Senators in Washington, meeting with your elected officials about issues affecting psychology is a lot easier than most people think. Remember, your legislators work for you! 

 

What is a lobby visit?

A lobby visit is merely a meeting for you to tell your elected representative what you think about a certain issue or bill, and to try to get him or her to take action on that issue.

Where can you meet?

You can meet at home in the Legislator’s district or Tallahassee office. Remember that meeting with a key staff person is often just as good as meeting with the Legislator.  Staff people often keep up with the bulk of the information presented during the Legislative Session.

 

Requesting Your Meeting   

  • Make your request in writing and follow up with a call to the Appointment Secretary/Scheduler. 
  • Suggest specific times and dates for your meeting. 
  • Let them know what issue and legislation (by bill number, if it has one) you wish to discuss. 
  • Make sure they know that you are a constituent.   

 

Preparing for Your Meeting   

  • Know what you want to talk about. 
  • Decide who will attend the meeting. Bringing more than four or five people can be hard to manage. Keep it small, but bring people who have information or personal stories that will drive your point home. 
  • Agree on talking points. It's tough to make a strong case for your position when you are disagreeing in the meeting! If a point is causing tension in the group, leave it out. 
  • Plan out your meeting. People can get nervous in a meeting, and time is limited. Be sure that you lay out the meeting beforehand, including who will start the conversation. 
  • Decide what you want achieve. What is it you want your elected official to do? Vote for or against the bill.  Make a commitment to introduce or co-sponsor legislation? Asking your legislator or his or her staff member to do something specific will help you know how successful your visit has been!   

During the Meeting   

  • Keep it short and focused! You will have twenty minutes or less with a staff person, and as little as ten minutes if you meet with your elected official. Make the most of that brief time by sticking to your topic. 
  • Bring up any personal, professional or political connections to the elected official that you may have. Start the meeting by introducing yourselves and thanking the legislator for any votes he or she has made in support of your issues, and for taking the time to meet with you
  • Stick to your talking points! Stay on topic, and back them up with no more than five pages of materials that you can leave with your elected official. 
  • Provide personal and local examples of the impact of the legislation. This is the most important thing you can do in a lobby visit
  • Saying "I don't know" can be a smart political move. You need not be an expert on the topic you are discussing. If you don't know the answer to a question, it is fine to tell your legislator that you will get more information for him or her. This gives you the chance to put your strongest arguments into their files, and allows you to contact them again about the issue. Never make up an answer to a question - giving wrong or inaccurate information can seriously damage your credibility!
  • Set deadlines for a response. Often, if an elected official hasn't taken a position on legislation, they will not commit to one in the middle of a meeting. If he or she has to think about it, or if you are meeting with a staff member, ask when you should check back in to find out what your legislator intends to do about your request. If you need to get information to your legislator, set a clear timeline for when this will happen. That way, you aren't left hanging indefinitely.  

After the Meeting   

  • Right after the meeting, compare notes with everyone in your group to compare what the elected official committed to do and what follow up information you committed to send. 
  • Each person who took part in the meeting should promptly send a personal thank you letter - not an email - to the Congress member.
  • Follow up in a timely fashion with any requested materials and information. 
  • If the elected official or staff member doesn't meet the deadline for action you agreed to during the meeting, ask him or her to set another deadline. Be persistent and flexible! 
  • Let your Legislative Rep know about the meeting and email or contact Cheval to let him know!  

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