Advocacy is key to effecting change and creating a better social, political and economic environment.
ADDCP advocates with the Governor, Legislators, State, County and City agencies throughout political and regulatory processes to represent the needs and interests of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and our member agencies.
As a member of ADDCP, you can inform and support initiatives to improve the lives of children, adults and families by ensuring Representatives and Senators have the information needed to make informed policy decisions.
As a constituent, you can influence public policy whether you are a community member, employer or direct support professional. You can help YOUR Representatives and Senators make informed policy decisions.
The organization of the New Mexico Legislature is similar to other states. The 112 members of the Legislature are divided into two chambers — the House of Representatives, composed of 70 members who run for office every two years, and the Senate, composed of 42 members who run for office every four years. Legislators must be citizens of the United States and live in the districts from which they are elected.
The New Mexico Legislature convenes in Santa Fe at 12:00 noon on the third Tuesday in January of each year. The Legislature holds 60-day sessions in odd-numbered years and 30-day sessions in even numbered years.
How to Write an Email or Letter to an Elected Official/Community Leader
Elected officials rely on citizens to help keep them apprised of what is taking place in their constituency. Get to know lawmakers and other officials and familiarize them with your concerns so they may advocate for their constituents. Keep in mind that establishing relationships with a wide network of community leaders gives you credibility with lawmakers and with the community at large.
ADDCP often provides its advocacy network with “calls to action,” including contacting an elected official or community leader by phone, email or letter. We offer talking points and examples to help advocates. Whenever you reach out to an elected official, use these tips for your communication to have the greatest impact:
- If applicable, let the legislator know you are a constituent in their district.
- Let the legislator know you have been paying attention to their work and express your appreciation or need for support.
- Only provide personal information you are comfortable sharing.
- Use any talking points you might have been provided to help craft a personal story supporting your request. Concisely explain your position on the issue and, if appropriate, include examples.
- Elected officials and community leaders value accurate, pertinent information. Only include information that is factual and relevant.
- Thank the elected official.
- Provide your name and contact information. Elected officials may want to reach out to gather more information.
These tips also apply when you are preparing to call an elected official or community leader. Develop talking points in order to be brief, complete and impactful.
Many people are uncomfortable communicating with elected officials and community leaders. You have valuable information they want and need to hear in order to make informed decisions on your behalf.