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Why should I personally contact my legislator?

Legislators are obligated to represent the interests of their constituents, which are the people who live in their district. Legislators are required to do this whether or not you voted for them or you are part of the same political party. When you personally contact your legislator, you can let them know how you want them to vote on various bills and what is important to you so they can better represent your and your community's interests. 

Below, we have compiled some tips on how to most effectively contact your representative. 

A suggested message for contacting your senator in favor of the licensure bill HF 3523/HF 3741

I am [NAME]. I am a constituent of yours and I live at [ADDRESS]. I have a great interest in SF 3523/HF 3741, the bill to license Behavior Analysts that is before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

As you may be aware, behavior analysis services are a vital resources for children and adults with behavioral health disorders, providing them with the support they need to reach their full potential.  Thank you for your support of laws passed last year and in 2013 that were aimed at helping families access such critical services that enable children and adults to live, work and thrive in their communities.

I seek your support for this bill that would create a license for behavior analysts to ensure that the State can protect and deliver the best possible services to vulnerable children and adults with behavioral disorders. Right now, there is no local process for Minnesota consumers of behavior analysis to report complaints of potential unethical or incompetent treatment practices.  SF 3523/HF 3741 creates that local process by authorizing the Minnesota Board of Psychology to license behavior analysts, including the power to investigate and resolve consumer complaints to protect the public from harmful effects of incompetent or unethical providers.

37 other States already license behavior analysts, including all of our surrounding States.  A Minnesota license precludes persons sanctioned in other States from working in Minnesota.  It also builds a career path so as not to lose current qualified behavior analysts to an already licensed State.

Thank you in advance for considering my request.

General tips for contacting your legislator

Visit your legislator

The most effective way to communicate with your legislator is to visit with them and have a conversation about what is important to you and why. We recommend you visit with them in person at their district office, the capitol, or a community meeting. However, you can also contact your legislator via email or a virtual meeting (e.g., Zoom). 

You can learn who your representative is using this link. Use the information in the link to get your representative's contact information, such as their address, phone number, and email. You can also use this information to join your rep's email list to learn when they will be holding public meetings. 

Ask them what they can do to help

If they don't tell you what they are going to do, they aren't going to do it. 

Follow up your meeting with our team

After your meeting with your representative, tell the MNABA board when you met and where, who you met with, and what we should do next. We want to support Minnesotans in advocating for support for their loved ones and themselves. 

Make a written summary of the meeting and the commitments your representative made during the meeting and send it to us. 

Send a follow up email or letter to the legislator with a copy of your summary. 

Introduce yourself

Your representative is a real person, just like you. They like talking to you as they would a friend. 

If possible, try to visit your representative with someone else who also knows them and visit your representative together. 

They do not have time to become an expert, so plan to give them about five minutes of information. 

Tell them your personal story

Show your representative a picture of your child or loved one you are advocating for. 

Tell them something sweet about your loved one. 

Tell them your personal frustration that they can help with. 

Leave your representative with a one-page handout. 

They don't expect you to be an expert, your job is to motivate them

Your representative wants to help, that is what their job is and why they do it. 

Point them to an expert. 

At the end of the day, they want to know what they could put in their newsletter. They want to share what they've done that they would be proud to tell their other constituents. 

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