Legislator Outreach: Now is the time

September 22, 2022

It’s that time of year
With all of the legislative seats up for grabs and elections right around the corner, now is a critical time for EDAM to continue to build on its reputation as a statewide leader in the economic development arena. EDAM member outreach to elected officials and candidates is an essential part of this work.

That’s where you come in!

Both incumbent elected officials and new candidates for office are hungry to connect with voters, key businesses, and public leaders in the economic development field. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity by sharing more about EDAM, economic development, and your specific work within the space.  

As usual, our Government Relations team is here to help and go through this process with you side-by-side. Contact Sam Richie at [email protected] or (218) 301-9758 if you have questions or would like help reaching out to candidates in your area.  

Tips & Resources

number 1
Determine your target
  • Elected officials and candidates running for office are listed by House then Senate District races here.

  • To find out your House and Senate District number, type your address into this search tool (which will also tell you your currently elected officials, but not candidates running).
number 2
Prepare talking points and materials about EDAM and your work/experience as an economic development professional
Check out the sample script at the end of webpage that addresses the following:
number 3
Schedule time with the candidate or elected official
  • For elected officials, you can do this by reaching out to their office (include the legislator and their legislative assistant (search their name here)), or you can reach out to their campaign. 

  • For candidates who are not currently holding office, you will need to reach out to their campaign, many websites listed here or by internet search.

  • You can also plan to speak with elected officials and candidates at city festivals, parades, events and fundraisers.
number 4
Following up
  • Within 24 hours (if possible), send a thank you email to the elected official or candidate along with any materials you mentioned during your conversation.

  • Let EDAM leaders know how it went so we can track which legislators and candidates we are building relationships with and so we can assist with any follow ups that may be helpful!
script icon

Sample Script

Introduce yourself
Hi, my name is and I’m a constituent/voter who lives in ______ district. I’ve been following your campaign and would love to learn more and share about my work as a _______(include professional role)________within the economic development space.

Introduce EDAM
  • Through my role as ___________, I’m also a member of a statewide organization called the Economic Development Association of Minnesota or EDAM. EDAM has approximately 500 members across the state who are public, private and nonprofit leaders in economic development.
  • EDAM has been a leader at the Capitol frequently testifying in the Senate and House Jobs committees and advising both Republicans and Democrats on important policies that could positively impact economic development.

Share 1-2 of EDAM’s past legislative priorities and likely focus areas
In the past, EDAM has advocated for programs such as the Redevelopment Fund, which matches state grants, with municipal and private business funding to redevelop blighted spaces. The return on investment of public money has been significant, as has the increase in jobs and the local and state tax base (can share attachment). This particular program has served both rural, suburban and metropolitan areas.  

Share how it relates to your work
What I’m seeing a need for in my work as an economic development professional is_______________________________

Review potential resources if relevant to conversation

Ask them about their priorities, questions they have about economic development (if this hasn’t come up organically throughout the previous talking points)

  • Thank you for listening to my perspective. I’d love to hear your thoughts on economic development within our community and the legislature’s role in that?
  • What specific priorities do you have for the upcoming legislative session when it comes to economic development?

Don’t be afraid to ask follow up questions. Some statements you get during this portion could be vague.