2020 is a big year for Queenslanders with our local and State Governments elections scheduled to take place on Saturday 28 March and Saturday 31 October, respectively.
This is your time to connect with your representatives who are running for election, who will hold these very important positions, to share the issues of importance to you and to our community to share how their representation regarding these issues can make a difference.
As someone living with MS, or as a person caring for someone with MS, you can have a lot of political impact through the simple act of writing a letter or meeting your local political representative.
The most effective correspondence with your local Member or relevant Minister should:
- Be as short and to the point as possible.
- State the problem clearly and how it affects you (best to address just one problem at a time).
- Suggest what would help, or what the solution might look like. You don’t have to have all the answers, but it helps them if you can clarify what would really help you under these circumstances.
- It is OK to complain but be respectful.
- Politicians hear a lot about what they are not doing, or what they are doing wrong; saying something positive can really help your cause.
- Be as direct, concrete and personal as you can:
- It is facts, concrete examples, details about your life and the problem you are dealing with that will help them understand the problem and the solution.
- End the letter or meeting with a something like: ‘I look forward to hearing back from you soon’ – it is important that you make it clear that you expect them to respond and you will be in touch.
Some points you may like to include, that were highlighted as issues of importance in a MS Queensland survey last year:
- Ability to access my local community e.g. footpaths, ramps (Local Government responsibility)
- Access to & availability of public transport (Local & State Government responsibility)
- Ability to pay electricity bill (State Government responsibility)
- Ability to meet your cost of living (State Government responsibility)
Please do not feel in any way restricted or limited in what you say. This is your letter, your meeting, and it is essential that you make this personal – it is about you and what you need. The points above are just to help give you some ideas.
Make sure you express things in your own words – politicians don’t care if what you write is fancy or plain, or if you make a few mistakes – they just want to know how they can help you.
If you would like further assistance or any queries or to let us know what response you have had, please contact Natalie Walsh, Community Engagement Manager firstname.lastname@example.org