HomeAdvocacyConnect with your Legislators

Connect with your Legislators

 


We are Better Together!

If you would like any help, encouragement, talking points, sample letters or would like to have an IPS staff member or lobbyist join you for a meeting with your legislator, please contact: IPS Executive Director, Meryl Sosa at msosa@ilpsych.org   OR  IPS Lobbyist, Mark Peysakhovich at mark@mbmadvantage.com.

To find a full text of bills, as well as to find Current Status of bills, visit: ilga.gov.

Join the IPS Governmental Affairs Committee to be in the know of all IPS Governemnt Affairs efforts. Please contact Kristen Malloy at kmalloy@ilpsych.org for more information on joining this committee.





Identifying Your Legislators

If you do not know your state Representative or state Senator's name, you can find his or her name by visiting the Illinois Legislature website (ilga.gov) and clicking on “Legislator Lookup” in the “Additional Resources tab.”  Be sure to enter your full HOME address. You can also use the below links.

State Senators/Representatives    |    U.S. Senators/Represenatives
 

How to Contact Your Legislator by Mail, Email, and Social Media

It's important to address your letter correctly:

State Senator  
State Representative                      
Honorable John Doe               
### Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Senator Doe:
Honorable John Doe
### Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Representative Doe:


We encourage you to send a letter, email or place a personal telephone call to your local legislator’s office to voice your position on legislation of importance to IPS.  You can even reach out to them on social media.  IPS staff will help prepare you to do this by providing fact sheets and any other information you may want/neet to feel comfortable when reaching out to your legislators.   See Current Legislative Priorities

Bonus:  Ask a friend or relative to help your cause.  They can do all of the above activities with their legislators too, when you educate them on why it is important to you and your patients.  There is power in numbers.
 

Meeting Your Legislator In-Person

​It is imperative that a local psychiatrist or a small group of psychiatrists from a legislator’s district meet with them personally to discuss the importance of IPS' legislative priorities. Meetings can be a simple 15-minute face-to-face or virtual conversation that allows you to make a personal, long-lasting connection by expressing your position. Oftentimes, those same legislators will seek out your feedback when other issues arise where they need your expertise which is the ultimate legislator relationship goal.
 
  • Schedule the meeting in advance. You can call the local office and ask to speak with the "scheduler." Be prepared to specify what the meeting will be about.
  • Be on time, be prepared, take material with you as well as your business card. You will rarely have more than 15-20 minutes to state your case.
  • Try to personalize the issue. Rather than stating that a bill is "unfair," explain how this affects your practice and/or your patients.  Personal stories will help them connect them to your position. 
  • Volunteer to be a resource contact.
  • Follow-up with a Thank You note.


Additional Tips:

  • Identify yourself as a psychiatric physician and constituent.
  • Identify clearly the specific issue or Bill you are writing/speaking about.
  • Be brief. State your reasons for support or opposition and ask your legislator for a specific action (i.e., supporting - by voting Yes or opposing - by voting No on the specific bill) and thank him or her for considering your views.
  • Don't threaten or berate. Never demand that your Legislator support what you ask for or they will "lose your vote." This is counterproductive and they will simply disregard your viewpoints.
  • Type your letter and include your name and address on the letter itself.
  • Be patient when waiting for a response, but don't hesitate to follow-up if you have not heard anything after a reasonable time.

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Illinois Psychiatric Society
113 McHenry Road, Suite 239
Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089