Engage Policymakers Through Phone Calls

Running a close second to the handwritten letter is the tried-and-true phone call. It’s still a personal and direct way to ensure that your voice is heard. To create mass action, create a phone tree or email list of local play advocates to help you disseminate your message quickly.

Tips for calling policymakers

  • Do not be intimidated by this experience. You are an active and concerned citizen, and you do not need to know ALL information about play for your voice and message to be heard.

  • Begin by identifying yourself and state if you are a constituent of the elected official.

  • Ask to speak with the official. If he or she is not available, ask to speak with the aide who handles your issue. Advocating for play falls within the realms of education, obesity, health, children/youth, and youth violence. If you are unable to speak with either of these individuals, leave a message or ask when you should call back.

    • Be sure to prepare what you will say before you leave a message.
  • Know your story. Have your facts handy and memorized. (You certainly can have your notes available but be prepared to speak extemporaneously.) Present your position briefly and succinctly.

  • Ask an elected official or staff member to support or not support a specific bill by voting a specific way. If the official or the aide is unable to give you a solid answer, let him or her know you will follow up with another phone call to find out his or her decision on the issue of play about which you are calling them.

  • Follow up with a short note to the person you spoke to. Use this time to reiterate your key points and ask to be informed about progress on the issue. If you spoke with the aide, thank him or her for his or her attention to the issue.