The Power of “Thank You”

[This post is from Katie Fritz, CEDAM Policy Associate. Photo by Nate Grigg, used through a Creative Commons attribution license.]

Thank You photoI was at a conference last weekend, and someone gave a tip that really struck me. “It’s important to tell your elected officials when you want something, or when you think they screwed up,” she said. “But it’s also important to thank them! Acknowledge the little victories.”

Such a simple point, but it’s easy to forget. Policy-makers get flooded with emails, phone calls, and letters begging them for support or berating them for their unpopular decisions. A sincere note of thanks is a little ray of light, reminding them why they signed up for their job in the first place.

Here’s a challenge for you: Most of our elected officials and their staff on the state level are at the end of their current positions. Before they leave this December, pick one or two legislators or staffers who have helped you out. Maybe they introduced a bill on your behalf, chaired a caucus you care about, attended one of your events, met with you about an issue, or simply returned a call. If you need help, give me a call (517-485-3588) and I can let you know who sponsored bills that CEDAM supported this session.

Got your people picked? Good. Now send them a handwritten card (or an email, if you must). Don’t ask for anything; just let them know you appreciate their time and effort. Your thanks will go a long way.

And by the way: thank YOU for reading this blog, being a member of CEDAM, and serving your community!