Lend Your Voice.
Legislative advocacy is a powerful tool capable of producing tangible results for the dental industry.
Nothing is more effective in terms of industry advocacy than your relationship with a legislator. By building a relationship with your members of Congress, you are a key component to DTA’s advocacy efforts. When a lawmaker has a question about the dental industry, you or someone at your company should be their first call.
Facetime is important. By participating in the Washington Conference, setting up in-district meetings, attending town halls, or inviting your lawmaker to your company you will build a relationship over time.
Communicate the dental industry perspective to your legislator. Nobody knows your customers and business better than you. Maintaining regular contact with your members of Congress and their staff will ensure that you become a trusted resource on issues related to the dental industry. Below are ways to keep in touch and make sure your lawmaker knows how policy issues affect you and your customers. Every point of contact should include a direct ask for co-sponsorship or a yes/no vote on a particular piece of legislation.
- Personal visits in-district or in Washington, DC during DTA’s annual Washington Conference
- Personal phone calls with legislators and their staffs
- DTA calls to action
Making a difference in Washington takes patience. It is essential to keep our message before policy-makers.
DTA actively represents the interests of dental companies in public policy and continues to expand its influence both in our community and in Washington, DC.
DTA continues to fight to modify the Physicians Payment Sunshine Act and carry the message that there is a demonstrated return on investment for oral health coverage through The Business Case for Oral Health. Oral health is linked to overall health and there is growing evidence that providing oral health coverage can save on medical costs.
The dental community continues to promote good oral health through an oral health awareness initiative. The Children's Healthy Mouths campaign promotes brushing for two minutes, twice a day.
How can I lend my voice to DTA’s advocacy efforts?
When Congress is considering legislation that affects the dental industry, DTA calls on its members to act as a loud and clear collective voice that is vital to our advocacy efforts. By answering DTA Calls to Action, you ensure that the industry will remain strong. Your voice is important and it is crucial that you use it to influence the legislative process.
Why should I get to know my lawmaker and their staff?
Lawmakers seek out reliable and trusted sources for information as they make key decisions on legislation and policy. You should be their trusted source for the industry. Members of Congress seek to make decisions that best serve their home districts and the needs of their constituents. When a lawmaker has questions about dental industry issues, you should be one of the first points of contact for reliable information. As a leader in your community, you should consider inviting your lawmakers to tour your business to see first-hand the vital role it plays in your community.
Is it appropriate to directly engage my employees in advocacy?
Your employees have a significant stake in the continued growth and success of your business. They too are deeply affected by rules and regulations that affect the industry. Your influence as a community leader matters a great deal and can easily be amplified by the voices of your employees. By educating your employees about the importance of being politically involved, they will be primed and ready to answer Calls to Action and have their collective voices heard on Capitol Hill. Congress listens to influence, and also to those who shout the loudest and most often.
When should my employees get involved?
You can engage your employees to act at any point in the legislative process and DTA will keep you informed as to when there is an urgent need for action. Creating a culture of advocacy among your employees will lead to your business developing a solid relationship with your lawmaker. Speak regularly with your employees about the importance of advocacy so they are ready to engage their lawmakers and staff when the opportunity strikes.
What about my company directors? Should I involve them in the legislative process?
Your company directors are an invaluable asset to push a legislative priority over the top. As prominent community leaders, your company directors are likely to have their own relationships and personal connections with lawmakers. Recognizing and cultivating these relationships will help amplify the dental industry community voice.
How do I go about engaging my employees and company directors?
When meaningful opportunities to act arise, we will reach out to you directly with resources and tools to engage your employees and directors. These include advocacy efforts and Calls to Action.