by Julie Angelakos, ILTA Communications Committee Chair
April 17, 2017
ILTA’s Advocacy Day is April 26, 2017. What is Advocacy Day? It is the day that members of ILTA meet with legislators to discuss the bills that will have an impact on the title insurance industry. These meetings advocate for our industry, and request that the legislators either support or oppose a particular piece of legislation depending on the negative or positive impact the legislation will have on our industry. However, this day can be challenging when the legislators do not have a strong understanding of the services that the title industry provides.
Whether or not you are volunteering to help on Advocacy Day, each of us can contribute by helping to educate our legislators about what we do as an industry and how much our industry benefits consumers. We are able to do this when we cultivate a relationship with our legislators. The first step is to determine who your legislators are. Below is the link to find out who they are, and it includes all of their contact information. http://www.elections.il.gov/DistrictLocator/DistrictOfficialSearchByAddress.aspx
Once you find out who your legislator is, begin to build a relationship with them. Listed are some basic steps on meeting with your legislator.
- Do some background investigation on your legislator
a. What committees are they on
b. What are their specialties
c. What is their voting record
- Choose 1 or 2 issues to discuss with the legislator
- Call your legislator and schedule an appointment
- Don’t confront them or be argumentative, this is an informational conversation
- Keep your legislator focused on your agenda
- Be succinct
- If asked something you don’t know
a. Make note of the question
b. Find the answer
c. Most importantly follow up with the legislator to give them the information
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep
- Relate the issues to the legislators home district, use real examples if possible
- Be prepared to explain what title insurance is and what the industry does
The legislators are people trying to protect their constituents. We are their constituents. We need to let the legislators know what we need from them. We all can have an impact on the direction our industry is going, but to do that we must take an active role in advocating for ourselves and our industry.