Tim Lee, the Texas Retired Teachers Association’s (TRTA) Executive Director, hosted a live video event on Facebook and YouTube yesterday. He welcomed TRTA members to the legislative session and provided an overview of what to expect. Watch the video here.

During the video, he provided 10 tips for the legislative session.

  1. Stay Informed
  • Sign up for the Inside Line and keep an eye out for our urgent Action Alerts that will prompt you to contact your legislators about urgent matters like committee hearings and bill votes.
  • Watch Tim Lee’s regular updates about the 88th Legislative Session on Facebook and YouTube live on Thursdays, beginning January 19 at 4 p.m.
  • Contact your Senator and Representative and ask them if they’d like to appear with Tim during one of his live broadcasts.
  1. Build Relationships
  • Advocacy is a relationship business!
  • Be a spokesperson for our issue: TRS Retirees Need a COLA!
  • Encourage and educate your legislator about why TRS retirees need a COLA and why they need one now.
  • The truth is the truth: share the facts and share your story of how inflation has impacted you with your legislator.
  • Think of yourself as a valuable resource who can provide the necessary insight legislators need to better understand why this issue is so important.
  1. Stay Connected
  • Join TRTA if you have not done so already or ask a friend or former colleague to join!
  • Consider joining a TRTA local chapter and getting involved at the grassroots level and back home in your legislative district.
  • Follow TRTA on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube and download our app to stay up to date on all the latest legislative happenings.
  1. Follow Up
  • Follow-up is crucial!
  • If you meet with your legislator or their staff, be sure to remain in touch with them throughout the session and during the interim.
  • Check in once a month or more. Make a phone call, write a letter, or send an email!
  • Maintain that relationship and help them remember you, and to remember you fondly!
  1. Say “Thank You”
  • It may be controversial to say, but it is important to be polite and respectful when communicating with legislators and their staff.
  • There are 181 legislators and thousands of staff members, many of whom are recent college graduates, students, or interns, and some who have spent their entire careers in public service.
  • Every day, they hear from upset constituents who may express their concerns using anger.
  • Be forthright, not disrespectful, and say “thank you” when a legislator or their staff member has taken the time to listen to your issue.
  • You will be contacting them again, and you want them to remember you.
  1. Be Strong
  • This will be a long, tough session.
  • Things will change often, and legislation can be very fluid, and at times, very frustrating.
  • We won’t always feel like progress is being made!
  • Take a break if you need one and come back to fight another day!
  1. Believe
  • Believe we can make a difference collectively: you as a member, your fellow retirees, the TRTA Capitol lobbying team and staff, and every TRTA volunteer at the local, district, and state level.
  • We understand that believing may not be easy sometimes.
  • Believe you are not alone on this journey.
  1. Be Honest
  • It’s okay to not know the answer to a question asked by your legislator or one of their staff members.
  • If you need assistance in providing information to them, please let us know what they need, and we will have someone on the Capitol Team provide a response.
  1. Stay on Message
  • TRS retirees need a raise!
  • Now is the time for the Legislature to act.
  • Inflation is the highest it’s been in forty years, and TRS retirees living on modest, fixed incomes need help now.
  1. Show Up Every Day
  • Show up every day, knowing all of us as a team are making a difference.
  • Show up by believing.
  • Show up by reading and sharing information.
  • Show up by calling, emailing, or sending a letter to your legislator, or meeting with them back home in the district or via Zoom.
  • Show up for TRTA Day at the Capitol on April 12.
  • Show up and support this crucial cause of helping TRS retirees in any way you can!