1) Bake a few dozen cookies/valentines and divide them into packages of six or so. If you can’t make it to the Capitol on Cookie Day, find someone else to schlep them over and deliver them (we can help!).
2) Wrap your cookies in cellophane or put them in ziploc bags to keep them airtight (everyone prefers fresh cookies!), but don’t stop there. Use a pretty plate. Try nice tissue paper and a gift bag. Use a small box and wrapping paper. Add a bow or streamers. Do something memorable!
3) Write a card from your family to your state Senator and Representative, plus generic notes for the other legislators you’ll visit. This can be as simple as a card or as detailed as a letter. Handwritten is best (keep it legible!). Thank them for their service. Explain how important legal midwives are to you. Tell them your story (no more than one page total). If you know they’re supportive, thank them! If you know they’re not, you might include a few facts or studies that may change their mind (highlight crucial sentences or numbers). If you’re a constituent, say so, and include your address for a response. http://cfmidwifery.org/resources/ has tons of fact sheets, ideas, and studies available. Be candid, friendly, and informative.
4) Include a family photo. Do you know how much your legislator will enjoy this? Some legislators keep your pictures on bulletin boards in their offices. If they’re ever tempted to hurt midwives, there your family will be, a smiling reminder to do the right thing!
5) Let your kids write creative notes, too. If they were born at home, say so! Break out the stickers and stencils, the colored pencils and the preschool smiley faces. Nothing breaks through walls quite like a child!
6) On Cookie Day, if you can, bring the whole family! Dress sharp. Bring the kids’ red wagon and fill it with kids and cookies. ☺ Come ready for lots of friendly conversations with curious legislators.
7) Check in at the Friends of Missouri Midwives table set up in the northwest corner of the Capitol’s first floor (from the front, that’s the back left). We’ll take your coat, give you FOMM lapel pins, and get you started. We’ll also have a list of legislators for you to see when you’re done visiting your own legislators’ offices.
8) Head over to your Senator or Representative’s office! Hopefully he or she will be close by and available to visit, in which case you can deliver your goodies in person and have a chat. If your legislator is ‘on the floor,’ ask the staff person if they can call him or her off to meet with you. Be warm, friendly, informative, confident, and interesting. No need to be shy - remember, your legislator represents YOU! Your visit will probably make their day. If you only see the staff person, be just as friendly to them as you would be to the legislator. They’ll probably be interested and eager to talk, and they’ll pass on everything you say to the legislator.
9) Repeat! At noon, head over to the House alcove on the third floor for your pre-ordered pizza lunch (or, bring your own food and join the others). Jesse & Emily Lepich will be coordinating the lunch this year (thanks, Lepich family!). Look for an email coming soon with ordering details.
10) Afternoon: continue delivering cookies. Take time to see the beautiful dome or get a tour from your legislator or the official Capitol tour guide. Also, private rooms will be available for nursing moms, young kids, or just to catch your breath for a minute. Watch from the gallery for a few minutes as your legislators debate in the House or Senate. Stick around for the FOMM meeting if you can (details tba). If you have extra cookies, leave them with us, and we’ll deliver them on your behalf the next day (if we don’t eat them ourselves, that is! ☺ ).
Midwifery rights are safer because of you. Mission accomplished!