Features  |   August 2018
Grassroots Advocacy and the Art of Persuasion
Author Affiliations
  • Jennifer Root, M.D.
    Grassroots and Key Contacts Task Force; ASA Committee on Governmental Affairs
Article Information
Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Features
Features   |   August 2018
Grassroots Advocacy and the Art of Persuasion
ASA Monitor 8 2018, Vol.82, 16-17.
ASA Monitor 8 2018, Vol.82, 16-17.
I will never forget the first time I spoke to a legislator on the phone. One of those heart-pounding moments assailed by personal doubts, just trying to make sure you aren’t doing your issue a disfavor by making a fool of yourself. I had picked up the phone when my state medical association put out the call to action on an issue concerning cigarette taxes. Usually the person answering the phone just took the message, and you figured they were sitting there with a bill number and two columns marked “for” and “against” and that they were simply placing a check mark while you spoke. Conversations usually lasted less than a minute and consisted of an explanation of who you were, what the issue was and where you would like the legislator to place his or her support. But on this momentous phone call I actually got through to my representative. I won’t lie to you that I felt like an intern trying to run their first code … heart beating faster, hands getting all sweaty, voice cracking a bit. The guy on the other end could not have been nicer and seemed really appreciative of the fact that a physician had taken the time to call. I hung up the phone still feeling a bit nervous but with a great sense of relief that I had actually spoken to a legislator and hopefully helped advance the cause. Once you get past the hesitation to pick up the phone, it just gets easier from there.
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