1) Find out who your state representative is.
Click on the "By Address" tab at the state's Find your Legislator page
(works best with your zip+4 code
) or call IFFM at (309) 722-3345 or (773) 278-8625 for help.
2) Check to see if your representative is already sponsoring.
Visit the bill status page
to see if your state rep's name is listed as a house co-sponsor. If yes, then send a thank
you note or card and skip to #4 below. If not, proceed on to the next step.
3) Write a short letter asking them to cosponsor SB385.
so your representative can quickly see why you're writing (to
request cosponsorhip), write a subject line across the top of your letter. In the body of your letter, briefly cover the following
4) Try to recruit at least two or three family members and friends to write their reps!
- Heading -- Re: Advanced Practice Nurses support Home Birth Safety Act (in big, bold letters)
- Paragraph 1 -- a short introduction about your connection to the community (district) and THE PROBLEMS YOU FACE B/C CERTIFIED
PROFESSIONAL MIDWIVES ARE NOT LICENSED IN ILLINOIS. (just 1 or 2 sentences; be concise),
- Paragraph 2 -- state the purpose of your letter (to request that he or she cosponsor SB385, the Midwifery Licensure Act.,
- Paragraph 3 -- inform your state representagtive that the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice nursing now supports
the legislation. Then explain that the solution to the Illinois home birth crisis is SB 385, to license certified professional
- Closing paragraph -- always end by thanking your legislator for his/her time and consideration.
It helps tremendously to look
up their state rep for them, and give them a pre-addressed, stamped envelope so all they have to do is write a quick note
and let you mail it. Your personal dedication is where we have our opponents beat!
5) Call or email IFFM to let us know what happened!!
This is as important as contacting your lawmakers.
We need to know that you contacted them and how they respond, so we
can follow up. You can reach IFFM at one of the following phone numbers ... (309) 722-3345 (ask for Pat) or (773) 278-8625
(ask for Colette).
A few don'ts when writing your state lawmakers....
DO NOT argue safety (it only makes most people defensive, and legislators are people too).
DO NOT say "as a taxpayer" or remind them that they work for you (they already know this).
DO NOT send a long letter about why home birth is good, safe or the cat's meow. (They don't have to "believe" in home birth
to support it; they do, however, need to hear from you!)
If you have an opportunity to discuss it further or want some wording ideas to put in your letter, visit our Talking Points Page
for examples that have worked well for others!
Please note: if your legislator calls you and asks you a tough question or you do not feel comfortable with further discsussion,
That's why we're here! In fact, it's better that you don't answer everything. It gives you (and us) a reason
to follow up with them and keep the issue in front of them! You can let him/her know that you are not an expert. You can say
something like “I’m not a Coalition leader, but I live in your district and a CPM bill is important to me. This
is a complicated issue that everyone has questions about. I would like to have a leader from the Coalition for Illinois
Midwifery contact you.”