Why Interim Meetings Matter

Amber Ulvenes, WCAAP Legislative Liaison

The pressures of a fifteen-minute appointment are familiar to most of you. It can be a challenge to cover everything that needs to be said in such a short period of time. And what is true in medicine is also true in the legislature. Those of you that have attended Advocacy Day probably have had just this experience. Those days are also a whirlwind, when it is hard to tell if information is really sinking in.

The antidote to this challenge is interim meetings with your legislators. Even those that have other jobs when session is out will still have time blocked to meet with constituents. Those meetings are usually a half hour to one hour long, can usually be in your community, and during a time that they aren’t thinking ahead to what vote they are going to cast later that day. The interim meeting is when you have time to get to know each other, and for the legislators to more strongly connect you to the health of their district. Having that local connection will help them remember you as a resource, so when you come back and see them during the legislative session, the foundation has already been laid, and you can more comfortably get to what you need from them.

Ideal timing for meeting with legislators is between July and October, and just as you do during the legislative session, you may contact your legislators’ offices by phone or email to request an appointment. The legislators may not work full time, but they all have a legislative assistant that does. The Chapter will again offer support for making those appointments-look for that offer this summer. We also provide talking points and other resources to support you.