Meeting with your Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA)
Thank you for volunteering to meet with your MLA as part of our Diversity Includes campaign. Meeting with your MLA is one of the most powerful and effective means of having the government listen, understand, and act.
Most MLAs are quite willing and interested in meeting with their constituents. The impact would be huge if self advocates, families, and allies were to meet with every MLA in the province of British Columbia.
Taking the time to meet with an MLA lets the politician know there are hundreds of others with the same interest in a better life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Different ways of meeting
- Online video calling (like Zoom) – During COVID-19, the most effective way to meet with your MLA is through video calling.
- Telephone – If you cannot meet by a video call, a phone call is also good.
- Email – If you cannot meet on a video call or have a phone call, an email will also work.
Find your MLA
You can find out who your MLA is and their contact information by visiting the Members of the Legislative Assembly website.
Volunteers can set up virtual meetings by calling or emailing their MLA’s constituency office. Be clear you want to meet with your MLA directly and not a staff member. You will most likely be given 30 minutes, which is all you should need.
Attending as a small group
If possible, we suggest you bring one or two supportive people with you to your meeting. If this is not possible, then Inclusion BC staff can be there to support you. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 604-777-9100 to set up a time.
Having your supportive people join the meeting with you means the MLA gets to know the issues you would like to be addressed and the concerns of your family and peers as well.
You will want to tell your MLA in advance who to expect at your meeting.
For family members, if possible, consider having your family member with a disability join you for all or part of the meeting. If this is not possible, you may want to bring a photo to personalize the conversation with your MLA. You will want to tell your MLA in advance who to expect at your meeting.
Talking about yourself
It is important for MLAs to learn that you have many roles in your community, beyond being a person with a disability or family member. For example, you may be a business owner, parent, volunteer, or advocate. Let the MLA get to know who you are.
To help you prepare Inclusion BC will meet with you and offer ongoing support to help you through the process of asking and conducting a meeting with your MLA. To set up a preparation session please email email@example.com
Other meeting tips
- If your MLA asks a question and you are not sure of the answer, you can let them know you will think about it and will get back to them with an answer to their question. You can email Inclusion BC at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to provide the information you need to respond to your MLA.
- Do not be discouraged if your MLA is not immediately supportive or appreciative of the issues and need for action. What is important is the number of MLAs that have heard the same message from you and your peers. By taking the time and effort to meet with your MLA you, have contributed to making a difference.