Engage Your Elected Officials
Town Hall Meetings
“Town hall” meetings with constituents are a great venue for you to share your concerns with your elected officials. Elected officials as well as your state and local leaders will regularly hold these sessions which are open to the public. They usually include a question-and-answer session – giving you the opportunity to share the Think Babies message and ask about infant-toddler issues.
- Find your federal, state and local elected officials using ZERO TO THREE’s Find Your Elected Officials Tool.
- Find the dates and location of the town hall on your elected officials’ websites. Sign up for their listserv or newsletter to get updates and check back to learn when your Member of Congress is home on recess or your state and local officials are hosting public forums. You can also take a look at the Town Hall Project website for more information.
- Prepare a statement or question before the town hall. As you prep, review the Think Babies talking points and print out relevant materials. You can also coordinate with other advocates in your community to make a stronger impact. Remember to practice what you want to say and be specific with questions. Below is a sample of an opening statement and some questions to get you started.
- Be sure to follow up. Give the Think Babies handout at the end of this toolkit to staff members at the event. After the event, you can call or email the Member’s local office to reinforce your message. Don’t forget to provide your contact information and remind them about your areas of expertise – they may want to follow up with you down the road!
Sample Opening Statement
“My name is [NAME] and I work with families and children in our community. My hope is that when you think about the future of [STATE/DISTRICT], you think of families with infants and toddlers – because when babies thrive, we all benefit. My question for you is. . .”
Here are a few sample questions to get you thinking:
- How will you ensure families have access to quality and affordable child care in [STATE/ DISTRICT]?
- How will you ensure families have the time they need to bond with and care for their babies in the earliest months when so much of their development is at stake?
- How will you ensure that Congress extends the expanded Child Tax Credit?