Contacting a Legislator
One of the objectives of the Joint Council is to educate our elected representatives into passing legislation that has a positive effect on the Utah Fire Service Community. We also try to stop legislation from passing that would have a negative effect. The legislative process is your opportunity to be involved changing the Fire Service community for the better. Make a difference and get involved. Toward this end we are providing you with a guide on how to better communicate your views inside and out side your personal network and "get the word out". The following are some methods have shown to be successful in the past.
1. Be informed on the issue: Do not try to influence others before you have a thorough understanding of the issue. Friends, colleagues and legislators all expect the pros and cons of issues. Be prepared!
2. Phone calls and e-mail's: Remember to do all phone work from your home or your cell phone and on your off duty time. Contact the Sponsor, your local representatives, standing committee membership and all legislators. Call the main number to leave a message for Senate membership @ 801-538-1035. Call the main number to leave a message for House of Representatives membership @ 801-538-1029. Call or fax any member at their home or office. To find a Senators phone numbers and e-mail address go to the "Utah State Senate Roster" and then e-mail the individual Senator. To find House of Representatives members phone numbers and e-mail address go to the "Members of the House of Representatives" and select the individual Representatives name.
3. Phone Tree's: An effective way to get the word out to your group is a phone tree. The group's leadership should organize this plan. Depending on the size of the group, each person should call 4 to 6 other per assigned members. Each of those should call 4 to 6 others. When you don't reach someone, their downstream people become your responsibility. Everyone in the phone tree must have a complete algorithm.
4. Attend meetings: Attend Committee meetings, attend general session and be seen in the halls. Make your presence and views known.
5. Wearing your uniform: Wearing your uniform is an effective way to show others that you are in the Fire Service. Most local agencies have rules concerning wearing of your uniform while off duty, abide by those. Remember when you speak while wearing your uniform it appears that you're speaking officially for your agency. Unless you are the PIO take your uniform off while testifying.
6. Personal Visits with Legislators: Last but not least the personal visit is effective if you have built a prior relationship. Start building those relationships before you need to use them! Let them know of your willingness to vote for them and support them.