Thank you for visiting our Legislative Outreach page! We hope to inspire your confidence in the process of visiting your elected officials to inform them about the great work you and your volunteers are doing. If after reading through our information you have any questions regarding legislative outreach, please email email@example.com
What to Expect
A specific appointment time will usually be needed to meet with an elected official or someone in their office. Be aware that you will possibly end up meeting with the aides instead of the elected official. Legislative aides work in offices of elected officials with job duties ranging from answering phones and maintaining schedules to conducting legal research and drafting legislation. These duties are assigned based on the candidate's experience, skills, and education. Usually there will be a time limit to your meeting, so it is important to be succinct, thoughtful with your information, and amplify how the Foster Grandparent Program has meaning to the official’s constituents.
To find your local official: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
To ask NAFGPD Legislative Committee questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
For samples of letters sent to elected officials: click here
State Senior Corps Infographics: https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps/senior-corps-state-graphics
CNCS and Senior Corps Fact Sheets: https://www.nationalservice.gov/newsroom/communication-resources/fact-sheets
Why Meet with Elected Officials?
It is important to inform elected officials at various levels of government about the Foster Grandparent Program so that they have a deeper understanding of the vitality and contributions of senior volunteers to their communities. Seniors make up an important voting block and senior issues are often at the forefront of official’s minds. Educating officials on the existence and impact of this program helps the official advocate on our behalf, even when we do not have a specific ‘ask’ at that time.
Educating vs Lobbying
Educating elected officials about the Foster Grandparent Program is acceptable and welcomed. Educating involves sharing stories and outcomes about the program, while refraining from asking for a vote or support on something specific. Asking for a vote benefiting the Foster Grandparent Program is considered lobbying and is not allowed during work time. Page 16 of the Foster Grandparent Operations Handbook and 45 CFR 1226 outlines what is prohibited while ‘on the clock’ or being paid for grant funds. However, outside of work time, an employee is allowed to lobby (make an ‘ask’ for something specific to an elected official). One last point to keep in mind, while at work or service, Foster Grandparent staff or volunteer cannot take any action, with respect to a partisan or nonpartisan political activity that would result in the identification or apparent identification of FGP with such activity.