Join the IIAT Grassroots Program!

You know the insurance business as well as anyone. 

To keep lawmakers well-informed, IIAT asks you to serve as a key contact to both Texas and national legislators. Maintaining relationships with your legislators and statewide officials is crucial and helps IIAT get important information directly to the source.

Although we work on a daily basis with members of the legislature, reinforcing local connections with them through you is truly as important, if not more so.

As a Grassroots volunteer, you may be asked to:

  • Discuss with your representatives what IIAT is, how you're involved, and what issues IIAT's membership may be currently facing.
  • Participate in IIAT's biennial legislative conference in Austin, during which IIAT members spend a day meeting with hometown legislators.
  • Be available to contact your representatives when key issues arise.
  • Provide feedback to IIAT governmental affairs staff on any communication you have with your representatives.

Become a Grassroots Key Contact.

Tips For Contacting Your Legislator 

Tips on calling | Tips on scheduling an appointment | Tips on meeting

Tips on calling your legislator

  • The most effective contact is in writing. But when time is of the essence and an action is scheduled to take place quickly, it is recommended that you call your legislator.
  • When the legislature is in session, call the Capitol office. Otherwise, call their district office.
  • When calling, ask to speak to the legislative aide handling insurance policy. An aide can be an important ally. Don’t feel slighted if you cannot speak to the representative. Many times they’re on the floor voting.
  • Be sure to first state that you are a constituent, then identify yourself and your company.
  • Clearly identify the bill number and issue you wish to discuss.
  • Explain how the proposed legislation impacts you, your business, the community and your industry. Clearly state why you support or oppose the legislation.
  • Ask for the legislator’s position on the particular bill. If you disagree, provide facts that support your position. Try to not be argumentative, but just informative.
  • Request that the legislator take a specific action on the bill.
  • Thank the aide for their time and willingness to consider your views.

Tips on scheduling an appointment with your legislator

  • Ask to speak to the representative’s/senator’s scheduler.
  • When you reach him or her, introduce yourself and state that you’re an independent agent and a constituent (if applicable).
  • State that you’d like to meet with him or her briefly to discuss issues facing insurance agents. Generally, the legislator will have limited time, especially during the legislative session, so it’s important to iterate that you’d like to meet briefly.
  • Give the scheduler a window of time that you’ll have available.
  • Ask the scheduler for his or her e-mail so that you can send a follow-up reminder with your information and thank the scheduler for their time.

Sample call for scheduling an appointment for Big I Legislative Day:

Good morning, may I speak with Senator Smith’s scheduler please?

Hi, my name is John Doe and I’m an independent insurance agent from Dallas and a constituent of the senator. The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas is holding its annual legislative day on (date) which includes visits with our legislators. I’d like to see if the senator can briefly meet with me between (give a window of time)? We’re also holding our legislative luncheon that day at (location) and would love for him to be my guest. (Provide additional information).

May I get your e-mail so that I can send you my information and a reminder?

Thank you for your time.

Sample call for scheduling a general appointment:

Good morning, may I speak with Senator Smith’s scheduler please?

Hi, my name is John Doe and I’m an independent insurance agent from Dallas and a constituent of the senator. I’d like to schedule some time with Senator Smith, either at his Capitol or district office, to briefly discuss issues facing independent insurance agents. I’m happy to meet at his convenience.

May I get your e-mail so that I can send you my information and a reminder?

Thank you for your time.

Tips on meeting your legislator

  • Be considerate. Legislators have tight schedules. Begin on time and stick to the point. Take ‘yes’ for an answer.
  • Be informed. Speak in laymen’s terms when discussing insurance issues.
  • Be a resource. Make sure your information on how a bill may impact you and your community is accurate and timely.
  • Be realistic. There is only so much that can be accomplished in one visit or even one legislative session.
  • Don’t be offended. Often a legislator has a last-minute schedule change which means a staff member may meet with you instead. This is not a bad thing. The staff runs the office and fields telephone calls. They are a valuable contact and should be regarded as such.
  • Thank all involved. Send a note thanking the legislator for his/her time.
  • Be back. Visit frequently. Don’t be afraid to call your legislator or their staff.

Contact Governmental Affairs

Lee_cropped
H. Lee Loftis, Jr.
Gov. Affairs Director
512.493.2418
lloftis@iiat.org
Jill_cropped

Jill Douglas

Gov. Affairs Manager
512.493.2454
jdouglas@iiat.org

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