Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Get Thee to the Capitol!

It is so very important that as many of us as possible take the time and physically go to the Capitol and meet with our Legislators. It may seem intimidating to some, but remember they are employed by us and for us.
Their job depends on you! 

One of our board members, Charis Delatte, took the opportunity to go to the Capitol today to distribute the goodie bags we made at the Push Party this past Saturday. She was accompanied by 2 of our other members and their children as well as her own daughter.
Here is a summary of her visit today as well as some pointers for future visitors:
Mississippi Friends of Midwives Members with Rep. Steve Holland

My First Visit to the Capitol

Let me begin by saying that I missed the politickin' genes of my family. I don't typically get jazzed up about shaking hands and convincing people to stand behind what I'm selling.
Today I made my first visit to the capitol to talk with as many of the Board of Public Health and Human Services members as I could. I took some notes from this visit and I'd like to share them with you. These are specific to our own state capitol building and may not apply anywhere else.

1. Dress appropriately - Southern politicians, their aides and secretaries all dress well. They seem surprised to see women NOT dressed like they're supposed to be there.

2. Be as organized and thorough as possible before you go. - This is likely a no brainer to most, but I thought I had it all together when I left the house.

3. If you are handing out packets, goodie bags, or any other paraphernalia, have the names and office numbers of each person you intend to see written ON the package. Go a step further and put them in numerical order by floor and room number. This will avoid looking at your "list" and getting funny looks from standers-by.

4. Bring your kiddo if you must, but leave the stroller at home. I thought I was doing myself a favor by having it, but the offices that these folks work in are SO SMALL! and the elevator is too. Even with just my umbrella stroller it was too much. Use a carrier instead.

5. Don't leave your self-confidence at the door. There are security checks, sideways glances, annoyed secretaries, and men in bow-ties! Remember why you are there, and that these people work for you! A little lipstick doesn't hurt either.

6. You don't have to do it alone. Call a friend, a board member, a sister, a husband. Take someone with you to remind yourself that you're not the "only" person who is in favor of this!

7. Cell Phone reception is not good, and they really aren't allowed anyway. I took my smart phone hoping to not fiddle with paper as much, but the signal was so bad that it took WAAAAY longer than looking up the information on a sheet of paper would. Better yet, just see #3

8. Try not to panic when the politicians kiss your kid. It's what they do.

Good Luck,
Charis Delatte


  1. Thanks! My husband has a meeting in Jackson on Monday and we are planning on going by the Capitol. Not exactly sure what to do but I'm sure we'll figure it out......

  2. Awesome, Laura! I can let you know exactly where the bill is and what's going on so you know who to make sure you go see. It's good to go see our Reps from the Starkville area BUT they won't even know about this bill until it makes it out of the Public Health Committee. So, right now, it's important to go by those offices, but if the subcommittee hasn't yet discussed it, then it would be more important to go by their offices.

    Let's talk about this one day this week and I can point you in the right direction.