EVERY YEAR, BILLS ARE FILED IN THE MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE THAT COULD DIRECTLY IMPACT YOUR BUSINESS. Such bills could address issues like workers compensation, health care and unemployment insurance. As a member of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, we will work diligently on your behalf towards the protection and growth of the retail industry in the commonwealth.
Your involvement in these issues is critical; you can impact legislation that will affect your business. The following guide offers helpful tips on making your voice heard and understanding the legislative process.

Learn to evaluate issues. Always take the time to learn the who, what and why of a bill before contacting your legislator. Try to use the bill number. RAM can provide you with information on all bills.
Be factual. Always present the facts as to the current or potential impact of legislation on your business. If available, try to use figures from your business that clearly demonstrate your message.
One issue at a time. Keep the topic of each contact with the legislator to one issue at a time.

Tell them you are a constituent. Be sure to tell them that you live or run a business in their district.

Tell them you are a RAM member. Let your legislator know that you belong to a state-wide trade association that cares about this issue.

Act promptly. Too many good advocacy efforts happen too late to have any real impact. Act today!

If you don't have much time but still want to make your voice heard on Beacon Hill, then log onto the RAM web site and use the online advocacy center. This state-of-the-art tool will enable you to send an effective advocacy e-mail directly to your legislators in less than ten minutes!

If you prefer to write a letter, make sure to use your business letterhead. A one-page letter will have more impact than a longer one. If you have any documentation on the bills impact to your business, enclose it as an attachment.

When sending a letter be sure to copy RAM and the governors office. It is important for us to be able to include information on your support or opposition in committee testimony.

Sparingly use bold type, all capital letters, italics and underlining to emphasize important points.

Address only one issue per letter or e-mail. Get to the point in your opening.

Always include the bill number.

Act promptly, too many good letters arrive after a vote has already taken place.

Phoning your legislator is a quick and highly effective way to convey your message. Keep in mind that many of the tips for an office visit also apply to a telephone call.
Call the legislators State House office and ask to speak directly to them. If they are unavailable, ask to speak with a legislative aide or administrative assistant.

Once they are on the line, identify yourself and your company. Be sure to tell them you are from their district and a RAM member.

Tell them the reason for your call, using the bill number. Then explain how the proposed legislation would affect your business and why you support or oppose it.

Keep the conversation to only one piece of legislation per phone call.

Ask the legislator their position:

If it is the same as your position, express agreement and thanks. Ask to be updated on the progress of the bill.
If your positions differ, politely express disappointment and offer factual information supporting your view.
Request that your legislator take a specific action by telling them what you would like to see happen.

Thank them for their time and for considering your views.