If You Have Five Minutes – You Can Make a Difference
It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
― Henry David Thoreau
Advocacy doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it doesn’t have to cost anything.
Contact your legislator -- If you live and vote in their district, be sure to say so. You don’t need a bill number, or a doctorate in health policy. Just tell them what concerns you, what you read that you can’t get out of your mind, your latest great idea, whatever. If there is a bill, definitely call them. They would much rather hear from you before the vote than to get an angry call afterwards. They not only welcome such contacts, they have staff hired to respond to you. Click here to contact your elected officials.
Get on the mailing list of an advocacy organization that addresses the issues you care about -- You can join our CT Health Notes newsletter list and learn about upcoming issues, events, research, and other upcoming issues in Connecticut’s health care. You can also join lists for more specific organizations, from mental health to cancer to political lists. Go to our Collaborations page for more info. They will let you know the best way to support the cause.
Inform someone – Share your concerns with a friend, family member, even someone standing next to you in line. Never underestimate how powerful word-of-mouth can be. And it’s a small world; you never know who you are talking to.
Write a letter to a policymaker – Writing down your concerns might take more than five minutes, but it is fairly simple. And as with phone calls, policymakers expect to receive letters, in many cases they rely on getting information from the public (and they trust you far more than a lobbyist). You will also most likely get a response, usually written, explaining the issue more fully and letting you know what they intend to do about it. For more, go to our tool How to write to policymakers. Click here to get their address.
Visit a policymaker – Honest, this can be under the five-minute limit. You may get a knock at your door or be greeted coming out of the grocery store by a candidate with literature. Don’t run away. Take a minute to stop and ask him/her what they would do about your issue if elected. If you want to make an appointment, go to our tool How to visit with a legislator.
VOTE – It is critically important that everyone who is eligible to vote exercises that right. But you can do more to support candidates that support the issues you care about. For more, go to our tool How to work with campaigns. For more on voting and registration, go to the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s website.