Candidate Lobby Week Guide

On November 6th, 90% of all state legislators in PA are up for re-election. 1 in 50 people in PA is a nurse. Right now, legislators and candidates need us. In Sept 17-21, nurses will visit candidates all over PA to ask them to publicly pledge to vote for safe patient limits if elected.

1. Find a time to visit your local candidates + put it on the map!

Use this website to find your local candidates. Then check this map to see if nurses are already meeting them. If so, join them! If not, then call between Mon-Fri 9a-5p to schedule a time, and let us know (amber.cruz@nursesofpa.org, 412-393-9285).

2. Recruit a team of nurses to join you for your lobby visit

Candidates are most likely to listen to nurses who (a) live in their district and (b) show that they’re not alone. Assemble a team by inviting nurses you know, and/or by asking us (amber.cruz@nursesofpa.org, 412-393-9285) how to connect with nurses nearby.

3. Print this ‘candidate letter’ + two-page summary

On August 2nd, every candidate for state legislature was sent this letter asking them if they will publicly declare their position on safe patient limits, along with this two-page summary of the bills. Print both to give to them at the meeting!

4. Share your experience of why safe patient limits save patients’ lives

Remember – most legislators really don’t know this, and you really do. Don’t shortcut this. If they don’t understand why safe staffing saves lives, why would they support it?

5. Ask if the candidate will publicly pledge to support safe patient limits

“If elected, will you vote for laws to establish safe patient limits?” It is essential that any candidate ‘pledge’ be public and on-the-record. Ask them to post it on Facebook, or their website, or a press release (something shareable). If it’s not public, it’s not real support.

6. Get a photo and make a plan to follow up as a team

Most meetings require follow up before your candidate or legislator fully signs on. Get a group photo and send it to info@nursesofpa.org. Exchange contact info with other nurses there, and make a plan to follow up by phone until your candidate signs on.