Arizona Mining Association

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Building Relationships with Legislators

Building a relationship with legislators can be an effective way to support Arizona's mining industry. Personal visits, letters, phone calls, email and other forms of communication are very important when they come from constituents. Members of Congress and state legislators have limited time and staff. As an expert on mining issues, you can provide accurate information that helps the lawmaker get their job done right.

Some relationship-building activities include:

1. Write a letter, email, or call legislators on current issues.

2. Schedule a personal appointment to discuss current issues and areas where the legislator can help. For members of congress you can contact them in either their home district office or in Washington, D.C. For members of the state legislature, you can contact them in their office in Phoenix.

3. Organize group visits on issues of mutual importance.

4. Contact the AMA if you believe a legislator would be interested in a tour of a local mine and related facilities.

5. Get personally involved by volunteering in legislators' campaigns and the activities of your political party.

Personal Visits

There is no better way to effectively make your case on issues with legislators and staff than personal visits. You can arrange the meeting with the policymaker directly or through staff aides.

The following suggestions will help make the best use of your time and the legislator’s:

1. Always make an appointment. 

2. Do your homework and come ready to discuss the key issues and economic facts. Expect that your meeting will be brief, and make sure you are factual and courteous. Our website has important information on the benefits of Arizona mining, the industry's economic impact, employment figures and much more. 

3. If several individuals join you in the visit, decide in advance who will be the principal spokesperson. That individual, of course, should encourage others to participate in the discussion to share particular expertise or experiences.

4. Open the discussion by reminding the legislator who you are and why you are there. State your concern about the issue and explain how it will affect you, Arizona’s mining industry, and the surrounding community. Know the bill number if applicable.

7. Always be truthful and never mislead. If you do not have the answer to a question, commit to following up with the requested information. 

8. Come prepared with a brief (one-page) position paper that summarizes your points with facts, and leave a few copies behind with the legislators or staff aides. If a lengthier document or answers to questions is relevant, send it later with a "thank-you" note.

9. If an upcoming vote is at hand, follow up with letter(s) and calls to legislators and their key staff advisors at appropriate points as the issue progresses.

10. Maintain the relationship. Get your name on legislative mailing lists. Find occasions to see the legislators again in appropriate circumstances, and write to them on the issues from time to time. If you obtain reports or data that will be useful to legislators and their aides, send those documents with a brief personal cover note.