Advocacy is the deliberate process of influencing legislators who make decisions on issues that affect you, your family and your profession. If FDHA members spend time introducing themselves to their local Representative and Senator, the strength of the profession would grow significantly! Now is the time to speak up about the benefits and needs of our profession. Now is the time to take action.
Go to www.myfloridahouse.gov; click on “Representatives” and then “Find Your Representative”. Enter your address in the space provided and click on “Find Your Elected Officials”. The contact information for your Representative and Senator will be provided.
Most legislative staff receive meeting requests by email. You can also call for an appointment. Introduce yourself, shake hands, make eye contact, and smile! Explain who you are (RDH and a constituent), Describe the responsibilities of your job and the profession.
Dental hygienists are many times the first contact a person has for dental issues. Good oral health is important to total overall health. Share a personal story - about someone you provided care to, a need in the community, or the reason you wanted to be a hygienist. Be concise and to the point; 2 - 3 minutes total. Offer yourself as a resource to them and their staff on dental issues.
Remain positive even if you receive negative feedback. Be positive and persuasive, dress for success or wear your lab coat. Always thank the legislator and/or his/her staff for meeting with you and for his/her service to the state in general.