How to Talk to Lawmakers so You Get Results

Follow these tips, and talking to lawmakers and reporters won't be famously awkward.

Kanye West stealing microphone from Taylor Swift at 2009 VMA Awards.

Talking to a guest about what’s in the enchiladas? Easy enough. Talking to your senator about what’s in a bill or a reporter about what’s in the bank account? Maybe not.

We get it. You didn’t get into politics because you didn’t want to get into politics. But you did get into the restaurant business to make a living, and that’s going to be a lot easier with the help of lawmakers who’ll be voting on legislation that can have a big impact on your operations, or reporters who can get your business’ story in front of thousands of eyeballs. The Colorado Restaurant Association put together this primer on talking to both these groups that goes beyond signing an online petition or letter to the editor.

In addition to the old chestnuts—be persistent, be precise, be polite—there are also tips on how to position yourself as a resource, create an ongoing relationship with the right people, why email isn’t always the best way to connect, and how to beat the feeling of intimidation that may crop up at the prospect of having these conversations. (Our tip—which is totally unsanctioned by the CRA? Imagine these people in their underwear slurping mat shots.)

Find out how to locate your local, state, and federal lawmakers here.

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to


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