As a public institution, Montgomery College provides opportunity for all residents of the county with support from local, state, and federal government.
The Government Relations Office serves as Montgomery College's liaison to the community and all levels of government - federal, state, county, and local municipalities.
In any contact with a legislator, be sure to tell your own story about Montgomery College and ask them to protect access to Montgomery College.
In-person meetings with your elected representative can be the most effective advocacy tool.
In-person meetings demonstrate to your legislator that you care enough to take time from your schedule to go to Annapolis or Rockville. Most importantly, you can humanize, or put a face on, Montgomery College.
Don't be intimidated The visits can be fun. Legislators like to see their constituents.
Here are some tips for success:
- Plan your visit carefully
- Make an appointment.
- Have a clear and concise request.
- Be prompt
- Be Patient. Legislators are often late.
- Know your facts. Know basic data about Montgomery College (PDF, )
- Tell your personal story
- Talk about the importance of Montgomery College to you.
- Special programs, small classes, and affordability are a few highlights.
- Talk about teaching at Montgomery College
- Talk about how Montgomery College impacted your life.
- Know your legislator.
- Know whom he/she represents
- Know their priorities
- Are they a friend of Montgomery College?
- Be responsive
- If asked a question answer
- Be Honest
- "I don't know" is an appropriate answer
- Be polite
- Remember first impressions are lasting
- Make a friend at least
- There will be other votes
- Be brief
- See above
- Facts are important
- Don't overwhelm legislators with a verbal tidal wave
- Leave background papers.
- Follow up
- Get that answer
- Provide additional information
- Write a follow-up letter
- Restate your request
- Say thank you.
- Say thank you.
- It's polite
- You get more flies with honey than vinegar.
- You might need their vote again.
Personal letters, rather than form letters, are best!
A good personal letter is the most effective method of communication with an elected official. It demonstrates your commitment to the College, and may only take a few minutes of your time.
Notes and emails work, too. Handwritten notes and emails can be just as persuasive as a formal letter. The type of correspondence is up to you.
Whichever written form you choose, consider these tips:
- Let elected officials know you are a constituent.
- Clearly identify yourself.
- Be sure to include your contact information in your letter, including your home address, phone numbers, and email address, to show you are a constituent.
- Know what to say.
- Tell your personal story. Personal stories make the most compelling case for support of the College.
- Describe your affiliation with the College.
- How did MC change your life?
- Why do you work here?
- Why do you go to school?
- Why do you volunteer to support the College?
- Why do you teach here?
- Keep it simple. Your correspondence should be brief and to the point.
- A one page letter is more than enough.
- Stick to one issue.
- Ask for the result you support - for example, Fully fund MC's budget requests.
- Say "Thank you!"
- Use proper etiquette.
- When addressing a letter to an elected official, always place "The Honorable" in front of their name
- In the salutation of your correspondence, use the specific title of the office they
hold. For example:
- Dear County Executive (Last Name)
- Dear Senator (Last Name)
- Dear Delegate (Last Name)
- Dear Councilmember (Last Name)
- Dear Congressman/woman (Last Name)
- Send thank you letters even if the response isn't quite what you requested. Remember, we want to build long-term relationships with our elected officials.
Letters are best, but a phone call can be effective, especially when time is short.
- Draft a few key talking points in advance.
- MC needs funds to keep tuition affordable.
- Please prevent any further budget reductions.
- Fully fund the College's capital budget.
- Describe your affiliation with the College (student, volunteer, trustee, alumni, faculty, staff). Tell them why you care about MC.
- Let them know you are a constituent
- Clearly identify yourself.
- Be sure to provide your contact information, including your home address, phone numbers, and email address. The contact information proves you are a constituent of the elected official.
- Be brief, to the point, and courteous.
- Do not debate; Just provide your viewpoint.
- Be sure to ask for the result you support
- Talking to the staff is okay if the official is not available. Ask for a call back or response in writing from the elected official.
- Say thank you. No matter what the reply to your request, close the conversation with a thank you. We need to build long-term relationships with our elected officials.
MC empowers students to change their lives, and provides quality education for the Montgomery County of the future. Empowering - Accessible - Affordable - Diverse.
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