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Episode Info: Ready to #TakeCivicAction? Then it’s time to meet those who represent you. L. Joy brings her own State Senator Julia Salazar to the front of the class and together they give a lesson on how to build relationships with your elected representatives. Our Guest New York State Senator Julia Salazar represents State Senate District 18, which includes the neighborhoods of Bushwick, Cypress Hills, Greenpoint and Williamsburg, as well as the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville and East New York. After her election in 2018, Salazar became the youngest woman to serve in the New York State Senate. Senator Salazar is a strong advocate for tenant rights, criminal justice, protection of women's rights and immigration justice. In 2019, she introduced the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act that mandates medical insurance companies to cover in their policies all medicines, devices and contraceptive products for women that have been approved by the FDA. She also introduced bills that order the training of hospital personnel in domestic violence. And she co-sponsored the historic NYS DREAM Act and the Green Light Act that grants access to a driver's license to New York State drivers, regardless of immigration status. Until the time of her election to serve in the State Senate, Julia Salazar worked as a community organizer in the neighborhoods she represents and throughout New York City.   Tips for Meeting Your Elected Officials Make the Request in Writing - Find the contact information for your representative's office. Identify their scheduler to email your meeting request. Be prepared to be flexible with time. Prepare for the Meeting - Be sure to have the pertinent facts of your issue(s), know who all the stakeholders are and familiarize yourself with the opposing arguments. Do Your Research - Learn about your elected officials’ voting record and public statements on issues important to you. Get familiar with what issues they are championing. Don’t Go Alone - There is power in numbers as constituents. Organize who and how many people will be going with you to visit your representative. It is helpful if they are also constituents but they can also be experts or people affected by the issues you plan to discuss.  Don’t Balk at Meeting with Staff - Your elected official represents a lot of people and they have help to do their job. Don’t feel slighted about meeting with staff members as they are the ones who will help your representative address the issue. Leave Something Behind - Prepare materials about your issue(s) to leave behind with the staff and your elected representatives and make sure to include your contact information. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up - You may have to make several phone calls, emails and even social media to meet with your representatives follow up your email with phone calls to get your request met. Don’t give up. Additionally, after the meeting you will want to follow up to thank the ele...
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