I don’t know my legislator so how do I introduce myself?Remember you are a constituent so legislators want to meet you.Call your legislator when s/he is in the district, introduce yourself as a dentist in the area and invite him/her to lunch to discuss dentistry.If other dentists are also interested in meeting the legislators, invite them to join you.Please note that you should offer to pay for your legislator’s lunch.You may also call the legislator’s office and ask if there will be any events and/or fundraisers the legislator will be attending or hosting.If so, ask if you are welcome to attend and use this as an opportunity to introduce yourself.
I have difficult contacting my legislator.When is the best time to reach him/her?Legislators are very busy when they are in Raleigh.The best time to call is when they are in the district on the weekends.If you need to reach them in Raleigh, you likely will talk to the legislative assistant.Leave a message indicating why you are calling and your legislator most likely will call you back.If you don’t have any luck with the phone, many legislators respond to email.Each legislator’s email address is available at the NC General Assembly website, www.ncleg.net.
When should I contact NCDS?It is important for you to inform NCDS of your activities.Please either call or email Lisa Ward, 919-234-4024 or 800-662-8754 or firstname.lastname@example.org to summarize your activities and discussions.If your legislator has questions regarding a specific issue, NCDS can help you answer the legislator’s inquiry.If you get an invitation for a fundraiser, please contact NCDS because the NCDPAC will consider making a contribution.Also, if you would like to host a dinner or fundraiser for your legislator, NCDS can help you plan and possibly fund the event.
How often should I contact my legislator? It is important that you have regular contact with your legislator. Most importantly, please contact your legislator when NCDS sends you a Legislative Alert.These require immediate action because a bill likely will be heard in your legislator’s committee the next day or a floor vote will be taken soon.Please note that your legislator would appreciate hearing from you when you don’t need something.Offer to help with their campaign (Primary election is in May, General Election is in November), host and/or attend a fundraiser, ask him/her to speak at your local society, study club or other organizations (especially during an election year) contribute to his/her campaign and write a letter just to thank them for their public service.
What if my legislator does not agree with the NCDS position on an issue?That is okay.Always respect your legislator’s opinion.However, ask them to explain why they disagree.They may have a misconception and you could offer some additional information.Please remember to never get angry and always be respectful.Even though they don’t agree with NCDS this time – there could be with us another time.
Should I host an event for my legislator?Yes.There are many opportunities for you to host your legislator.You can hold a Meet & Greet, a fundraiser or arrange a dental office tour.The NCDS can assist you with any event planning and ideas.Please call Lisa Ward at 800-662-8754 for assistance.The NCDS offers local dental societies up to $2,500 and planning assistance to host your area legislators and spouses for a Meet & Greet dinner.
Do I need to be the same party affiliation as my legislator?No, party affiliation does not matter.NCDS cares about dentistry and we have good friends on both sides.In fact, if you change your voter registration to Unaffiliated, you can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary.So if you aren’t your legislator’s party, you can still vote for him/her in the Primary.
If more than one dentist serves as a contact, do I need to continue serving as well?Yes.Power is in numbers.The more dentists who contact and support your legislator, the better.If you don’t know the other contact dentists, arrange to meet them and coordinate your efforts.
What is the maximum contribution I can make to my legislator’s campaign?You can donate $4,000 per election cycle and so can your spouse.
What if I do not agree with the NCDS position on an issue?Please contact the NCDS immediately to discuss your concerns before contacting your legislator.Please do not contact your legislator with contradictory information that our lobbyist is likely provided.If you are unclear on the NCDS position, call Lisa Ward before contacting your legislator.
When I get a NCDS Legislative Alert, can I discuss other legislative issues with my legislator?Please limit your discussion to dentistry.Save your concerns about other issues for another time.