How to Contact your Texas State Legislators
Midwives, consumers, and the Association of Texas Midwives need to be laying the groundwork with our legislators to protect our ability to practice in Texas and to assure that women in Texas have the option of choosing homebirth and attendance by midwives for the births of their babies. It is time that we act now, with thought and energy, rather than waiting for a crisis in the next legislative session. If you want to take action to protect your right and responsibility to give birth where and with whom you choose, here is what you can do:
Regarding education of your state legislators
- Identify who your state representative and state senator are:
You can find this information at the Texas Legislature Online http://www.capitol.state.tx.us (lots of useful information at this site!)
OR contact the League of Women Voters (listed in the phone book)
OR contact the ATM Legislative Committee Chair
- Meet with, call, or write to your state representative and your state senator.
- Please take time to let us know about your communication with your legislators. Click here for our contact information.
Suggestions for writing effective letters and e-mails:
- Make sure you use titles where appropriate and spell names correctly, etc. Show respect for the person's position, even if you do not respect them personally. Be polite.
- Introduce yourself. Let them know your name and a little about yourself, especially where it pertains to the subject. If you are a midwife or had medical training, or if you have used a midwife, had a homebirth, or know someone who has had one, tell them.
- Stick to the facts and issues. Be thorough but don't be long winded. When challenging another person's position, avoid questioning their motives. What you have to say is more likely to be heard if expressed as a matter of fact, rather than angrily.
- Proof read your letter at least a couple of times. Have someone else also proof read it when you can. Use a spell checker or dictionary.
- Thank the person for their time! This is very important!
- Send both e-mail and snail mail when you can. E-mail has not had as much impact as snail mail in the past, but since September 11, 2001, e-mail is being used and respected much more. Use both if you can.
- When sending a letter by snail mail, make sure your writing is easy. Use a letterhead if you have one and address the letter properly. Use the proper amount of postage.
- Send copies of your letters to other key people.