Why invite your legislator to tour your community? By visiting, your legislators will have the chance to interact with their constituents, as well as gain a greater understanding of the benefits of Assisted Living. And your residents and staff will feel connected to the political process when they meet their elected officials.
Sending an Invitation
- Choose an event. Are you celebrating a resident’s 100th birthday, honoring a staff member, hosting a question-and-answer session for the community? Invite your legislator to attend. No event—no problem. Legislators will enjoy seeing the daily happenings on a tour as well.
- Draft an invitation letter using this sample (Members Only). Tell your legislator about the event, your community, and Assisted Living. Make sure the meeting date and time are highly visible.
- Follow up with a phone call about a week after you’ve sent your invitation. Ask for the scheduler and confirm that they received your invitation. Continue to follow up until you receive a response. Because legislative offices receive many requests each day, don’t get discouraged if this takes a long time.
- Inform your staff, residents, and families about the visit once it’s confirmed.
- Call your legislator’s office as the date approaches to confirm details.
Hosting a Visit
- Plan to have the Executive Director conduct the tour. And be sure to take pictures of the legislator at your community.
- Talk about your community, residents, and staff. Introduce staff and residents you see during the tour. Point out your innovative programs and design features.
- Give your legislator a fact sheet about your community that includes the number of residents, units, staff, and unique features. Let your legislator know that you are available as a resource if questions come up in the future.
- Show interest in your legislator. Beforehand, research your legislator’s biography and issues of interest. Then use that to tailor the visit and discussion. For instance, if your Senator is interested in education, introduce them to your student volunteers or tell them about your intergenerational programming.
- Talk about Assisted Living. CALA has prepared these talking points (Members Only) and brochure (Members Only) which introduces Assisted Living as a model of care and highlights important statistics about the aging population of California. The talking points are for your use only, and should not be given to the legislator.
- Immediately after the visit, send a thank you note to your legislator, as well as a note to the staff person who helped schedule the visit.
- If you took photos, send copies to your legislator and email them to CALA. You can use the photos in your newsletter, which you can also send to your legislator. In addition, CALA may feature your photos on their blog, The Hearth.
- Use this template (Members Only) to write a press release about the visit. Send it along with a photo to the local press, after you receive approval from your legislator.
- Tell CALA about your advocacy. Fill out this brief survey.
Legislative Visit FAQs
Q: What do I do when my legislator doesn’t respond to my invitation?
A: Be sure you follow your written invitation with a phone call. If you still don’t get a response, call CALA. We’ll help you follow up.
Q: What should I do if my legislator asks me a question I don’t know the answer to?
A: Let them know you aren’t sure and that you will find the answer and follow up with them. We’ll help you answer any questions you may be unsure of.
Q: Why would my legislator be interested in visiting my community?
A: The more a legislator knows about Assisted Living and the seniors you serve, the better prepared he or she is to make decisions at the Capitol—not to mention the fact that you have voters living and working in your community!