Educating Public Policymakers
Public policymakers are elected officials whose job is to serve their local community. Educating public policymakers can produce several results. Most directly, Weatherization can achieve the name recognition it deserves as a successful community energy-efficiency program. This recognition can lead to greater benefits in the public policy arena and to greater awareness by community, state, and federal governments. This education, in conjunction with Site Demonstrations
at weatherized homes, can leave a strong, lasting emotional impact.
Strive to educate local elected officials including the Mayor, County Commissioner, School Board Members, State Representatives, and Senators about the programs available to their constituency. For higher-ranking officials, it may also be wise to send an educational package and visitation request to their assistants.
Write a personalized letter and send a full educational package, both through email and mail - include Weatherization brochures, success stories, and local and national fact sheets. For greater impact with public policymakers, it may be beneficial to include pictures and videos featuring families that have been served, training programs, before and after pictures of Weatherization sites, or other pictures showing the work being done on a house. These public servants are often bombarded with written materials and a visuals can quickly emphasize the benefits of Weatherization. Sample letters
are provided as a model for your personalized letter.
In your letter be sure to include the theme, "Weatherization Works!" Use language that personalizes your local Weatherization program for the policymaker. Include facts that can be easily adapted for speeches, reports, and presentations. Sign each letter personally and be sure to include a contact number.
For public policymakers, include information of a "human interest" nature, like:
Local testimonials regarding energy/cost savings
Focus on seniors, persons with disabilities, and families with children
Job training and/or job creation for the community
Number of families helped and/or money saved
Include language that reflects the benefits for recipients, as well as, public policy "buzz" words:
"help up, not hand out"
"Financial empowerment of low-income families"
"Reaching a forgotten sector"
"Effective public/private partnership"
"Proven record of success"
Distribute these packages at Town Hall Meetings, PTA Meetings, School Board meetings, and other gatherings of public policymakers. Also email and directly to the target audience.