Engage Your Elected Officials
Talking Points to Contact Your Elected Officials
Your voice matters to the policymakers who represent you. Believe it or not, calling them is one of the most effective ways to be heard.
- Find your Members of Congress and state policymakers using ZERO TO THREE’s Find Your Elected Officials Tool.
- Mention that you’re a constituent and note the town or city where you live. Offices prioritize calls from the people they represent.
- Ask to speak to the staffer in charge of early childhood issues. You may not get them or the office may have limited staff, but you can always ask the person you do speak with to pass the information along.
- Leave a message if you get a voicemail. Offices regularly listen to voicemails. To increase the chances that you will speak with someone, call during regular business hours.
Use the key messages to guide your conversation. Introduce facts about baby brain development and why they must Think Babies™.
Share why it’s important to you – personally or professionally – that your policymakers Think Babies™. Offer yourself as a resource and share your areas of expertise.
- Be a storyteller. Share an example of why it’s important to invest in the early years, such as a program that has benefited families you work with or a program that has helped your family. A real-world example can drive home why it’s so critical to continue to support families.
- Ask your governor to Think Babies™. Governors can play a critical role in championing high-quality programs and supportive policies that ensure parents and caregivers have the time and resources to nurture healthy brain development.
- Ask to meet with the staff member in person or invite them and the legislator to visit your program.
- Remember that you’re having a conversation! Ask questions – about the issues, but also about the personal connection the staff or legislator may have with issues affecting families and babies.
If you’re reaching out by email, use the sample email below to get started. Make sure to personalize your story and put a face to the challenges families face and the benefits of supportive policies.
Sample Email to Member of Congress or other Elected Officials
Senator/Representative [INSERT LAST NAME] –
I’m writing to you on behalf of babies and parents in [YOUR STATE/DISTRICT].
The first three years of a baby’s life shape all the rest. During this time, our brains grow faster than at any later point in our lives, forming more than one million new neural connections every second.
When babies have nurturing relationships, early learning experiences, and good nutrition, those neural connections are stimulated and strengthened, laying a strong foundation for the rest of their lives. But when babies don’t get what their growing brains need to thrive, they don’t develop as they should. This leads to life-long developmental, educational, social, and health challenges.
That’s why we must Think Babies™ and make their potential our priority.
Every day, you make decisions that impact the lives of babies in our [COMMUNITY/STATE]. We need to [INSERT CAMPAIGN PRIORITIES BASED ON YOUR ORGANIZATION’S OBJECTIVES]:
- [MAKE SURE EVERY FAMILY WHO NEEDS IT HAS ACCESS TO QUALITY, AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE FOR THEIR INFANTS AND TODDLERS THAT OFFER ONE-ON-ONE RELATIONSHIPS WITH CARING ADULTS AND STRONG EARLY LEARNING EXPERIENCES.]
- [GIVE PARENTS DEDICATED TIME TO BOND WITH THEIR BABIES IN THE EARLIEST MONTHS, WHEN SO MUCH OF THEIR DEVELOPMENT IS AT STAKE.]
- [REACH PARENTS WITH THE RESOURCES AND SERVICES THEY WANT AND NEED TO NURTURE THEIR BABY’S HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT AND SET THEM UP FOR A HEALTHY LIFE.]
- [ENSURE FAMILIES HAVE ACCESS TO NUTRITION AND OTHER HEALTH SERVICES THAT CAN GIVE THEM A HEALTHY START IN LIFE.]
These are the ingredients to give babies enriching early experiences, promote healthy brain development from the start, and create a better future for our nation.
As your constituent, I am asking for your commitment to fight for those who so often can’t fight for themselves. Our future literally depends on it.
Thank you – and I look forward to hearing from you,