Your Voice Matters: Advocating for Family Medicine in Election 2024 PDF Print Email
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Wednesday, June 05, 2024 12:39 PM

Your Voice Matters: Advocating for Family Medicine in Election 2024

As we move into the latter half of 2024, we will once again be in the heart of election season. In addition to the Presidential election, which is dominating most of the news cycle, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Michigan House of Representatives, and one of Michigan’s Senate seats are up for election this year. Candidates will start knocking on doors, appearing at public events, and reaching out for donations, meaning you may have the opportunity to promote family medicine to a candidate.

Below are some tips to make the process more effective:

  1. Be concise and relatable. Don’t expect to chat for an hour about your issues. Officials deal with a variety of issues, from health care to criminal law to property taxes, and everything in between. Try to focus on one main issue, and don't address any more than three items.

  2. Make your points more memorable by relating them to a personal story.

  3. Remember that communicating a priority is most effective in person, with a candidate or their staff. Take advantage of in-person meetings as much as possible.

  4. Be polite. In a world where uncivil discourse has become all too common, it's essential to take the high road. Strive to make new friends, build trust, and establish credibility. Remember that good relationships are a reciprocal exchange.

  5. Serve as a resource by answering their questions about your topic or relevant issues they're facing. 

  6. Don’t be afraid to answer a question with “I don’t know, but I’ll find out." Too many individuals involved in public policy spread inaccurate information; don't jeopardize your credibility by becoming one of them.

  7. Suggest, don’t expect. When making a request, frame it as, "I hope you will consider supporting this, and here’s why," rather than, "I demand you support this." Ensure you have thoroughly read any bill you plan to discuss.

  8. Always say thank you. Public life is more challenging than most people realize. Elected officials constantly juggle complaints, problems, and adversaries while striving to stay informed and serve their constituents effectively.

Use Social Media for Good

All of the above applies on social media, too. Be an authority; be credible, trustworthy and gracious. Avoid sensational stories and questionable sources. Choose your issues wisely. And remember that face-to-face interaction is the most effective at building relationships.