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Tips to be a Strong Advocate

Legislative sessions are underway in a number of states across the southeast. This is our chance to speak up for statewide laws that will fight heart disease and stroke.

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Throughout your state's session, you'll receive You're the Cure emails alerting you to timely opportunities to act. These will be times when it is important our lawmakers hear from constituents about the issues we are working on. It can be before a committee hears a bill or before an upcoming vote in the Senate. Sometimes we may need you to educate lawmakers about a specific aspect of an issue. There are a number of actions we may ask you to do, from emailing your lawmaker to perhaps even attending a virtual meeting.

Here are some quick tips, so the action you take really makes an impact:

  • Customize your emails to lawmakers. While we try to make it as quick and easy for you as possible to email your legislators, there is a space where you can add a sentence or two – in your own words - about why an issue is important. This is a great place for you to share some of your own personal experience or story.
  • Don't hesitate to call your lawmakers. Don't know your lawmaker's name or phone number? Nervous about what to say? Our system can help you! When you click on the link in your email to call your lawmaker, simply enter your information and our system will call you right back. You'll hear a brief recording from American Heart Association staff and then you'll be connected you to your lawmaker's office. Talking points will appear for you on the action page AND if you need to talk to more than one lawmaker, just stay on the line and hit the star key after you finish your first message or conversation. Most of the time when you make a call, you will be leaving a message, so this really doesn’t take much time at all!
  • Tweet your lawmakers. Are you on Twitter? If so, we may ask you to tweet your lawmaker – much like sending an email. This is quick and easy with our system, which will prepopulate your lawmakers 'Twitter handles for you.
  • Spread the word. After you take action, you'll see icons for Facebook and Twitter. You can help spread the word by sharing our alerts on your social media.
  • Get on the list. We send breaking news and important policy movement to advocates through text. The next time you take action on an alert, make sure to check the box to get text messages from us.
  • Consider writing a letter to the editor. It's a great way to capture your lawmaker's attention and to raise awareness of heart and stroke issues important to you. If you'd like help writing a letter to the editor, reach out to us at [email protected]. We can send you some tips and talking points for the issues we're working on.

You make all the difference when it comes to moving strong life-saving policies. If you know others who may like to be part of You’re the Cure, encourage them to join us. It’s always easy to do – just tell them to text HEART to 46839.

We need you to help build longer, healthier lives through public policy change.


Betsy Vetter, Director of Field Grassroots, contributed to this blog post.

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