Society of Georgia ArchivistsPreserving the past and present for the future.

Legislative Outreach and Advocacy

Keeping in touch with your local and state legislators is a crucial tactic for securing support for archives in your area. This page provides some tips and resources for finding and talking to your legislators.

How do I find my representatives?

  • Go to

  • Enter your full address (many zip codes in Georgia encompass multiple legislative districts)

  • Scroll down to State Legislative and expand.  The page will show you both your State House Representative and your State Senator

  • also includes information about people running for election, voting records for current legislators, and legislators positions on various issues.

  • SGA has created a quick reference guide to find legislative districts for repositories in Georgia.

Are there other legislators I should talk to?

How do I make first contact?

  • Once you know who your representatives are, you can go to the General Assembly website and look up their contact information.
  • Find your legislator in the list, and on their individual page you will find their phone number, address and email address. For example: Individual page

  • This page will also list the committee membership of your legislator so you can find out at a glance if your legislator is also a member of one of the committees listed above.

  • Remember that personal contact is more effective than writing. Consider calling and scheduling a face to face meeting with your legislator.

  • Don’t forget about social media. Find your legislator on Facebook and Twitter.

What do I say when I call or write?

  • Know your audience. Figure out what relevant information will be most compelling and powerful to your individual legislator.

  • When contacting your legislator, be concise. Boil down your points to the few that are most crucial for getting your message across.

  • Be concise, but be specific.

  • Explain why their support is important, and what it will accomplish.

  • Remember that legislators are fact oriented. Include evidence that supports your claims.

  • Don’t be afraid to get personal. Share a brief story that will illustrate the value of the institution or project for which you’re asking support.

  • Stay on message, especially if you're working in conjunction with a larger advocacy campaign.

  • Always be polite and professional.

  • For example: SGA's 2011 letter about the Georgia Archives budget

How do I stay in touch?

  • Don’t let your first email be your last!

  • Extend an invitation for your legislator to visit your institution.

  • Arrange a show and tell for your legislator that demonstrates the variety of your holdings and the value of your institution to the public.

  • Make it personal. Does your institution hold any materials that have some personal bearing on your legislator?

  • Remember that legislators are like anyone else: sometimes they don’t understand how valuable archives are until they see them in action.

  • Before you schedule anything, be sure to ask your manager what the parameters for an event like this are. What are you allowed to do as a representative of your institution and should you be partnering with a development or communications official?

  • Are there any programs at your institution to which you could invite your representative? Perhaps an exhibit opening that would provide a natural opportunity to show your legislator how your materials are used?

Additional resources:

© Society of Georgia Archivists (SGA)

  PO Box 2112

  Rincon, GA 31326

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