Legislative Tools


Arranging the meeting:

  • Find out how to contact your legislator.

  • Make appointments with those whom you want to lobby.

  • Attempt to meet with legislators who represent electoral districts that are particularly affected by your issue.

  • Ask how much time is available so you can use it to your best advantage.

Preparing for the meeting:

  • Have two or three well-prepared speakers.

  • Prepare a brief written summary of your case to give to the legislator, your organization’s credentials and your area of work.  You may also present longer documents, but the written summary is crucial.

  • Agree on the order of speaking and the issue each speaker will address.

  • Rehearse your presentation (to each other or just in front of the mirror).

  • Assign someone to take notes.

  • Arrive at least five minutes early, or more if you have to go through security in the building.


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Write your legislators! Write Now! Write Often!

Dear Health Care Colleagues:

The 2013 Oregon State Legislature is considering two vital health care reform bills.

HB 2922, The Affordable Health Care for All Oregon Plan,  establishes publicly funded universal care (“single payer health care”) in Oregon.

HB 3260. FULL BILL HERE:,  commissions a st

HB 3260 is a sudy of health care financing options in Oregon including single payer health care. The study will be funded by gifts, grants and other funds from private sources.

Both are critical to publicly funded health care in Oregon. Your legislator needs to know you want them to sponsor, support, and vote for both bills.

Visit your legislator in person to tell them to support these bills.

Call their office and explain how you feel to their legislative aide.

Write or E-mail them. To make writing easier, HCAO suggests you use the following outline. It is not important to follow this outline – but it is important you write.


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Use for talking to your legislators. Or use brief versions for signs.

1) Everybody pays in and everybody receives the health care they need.

2) No more deaths due too no or little health insurance.

3) No more fore closures because of medical bills.

4) No more medical postponements resulting in worse conditions.

5) Stop market based inflationary medical practices.

6) Your choice of medical provider.

7) Take health care off the bargaining table.

8) Stop defensive medical care.

9 Reduce administrative costs.

10) Reduce employer costs.

11) No more out of pockets, high deductibles, co-pays, and limits.

Templates for Letters to our Legislators

Dear Health Care Advocate,

HCAO is trying to build support in the Oregon legislature for universal, publicly funded health care that follows our principles.  A key method for doing that is for constituents to communicate to their legislators in a personal, individual way that we want them to support such care.  Below is a template you can use as a guide in writing a letter or planning a phone call.  

The most important thing is that the letter or call be in your own words.  Telling your story or expressing your values and why it matters to you communicates powerfully to a legislator.  So use the template as a guide if it helps, but say it the way it makes sense to you.  Add things if you wish, or say it differently if you wish.


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Template - letter/call to known supporter

(remember, put in your own words)

Dear (Representative/Senator X -- fill in title and name as appropriate),

[First point:  Health Care for All-Oregon has told me that you support universal publicly funded health care in Oregon.  I am writing as your constituent to thank you and urge you to work hard to persuade your fellow legislators to join you.]

[Second point:  Health care matters to me (say why, briefly, if you like).  As you know, our current system is failing.  Here is how it has failed (1)me, (2) my family, (3) my business, (4) my clients or customers (5) my friends, (6) my neighbors and community.  (Address any or all of those that are relevant and mean something to you.)]

[Third point:  Rep. Michael Dembrow is sponsoring a universal health care bill in the 2013 session that I support.  If you have not yet done so, I ask you to co-sponsor his bill.]

[Fourth optional point:  This is a top priority issue for me, that will shape my voting choice in the next election.  Your work on this issue matters to me and I will remember it.  Please keep me informed of your efforts.]  

Thank you,

Your constituent,

(Your name and address, plus email or phone address if you like)