How you can help: “Talk” to the Hill
We are excited that hundreds of attorneys will be joining us on at the State House on January 26 for the Walk to the Hill urging lawmakers to protect state funding for civil legal aid programs. If you can’t make it to Walk, we encourage you to participate in Talk to the Hill: a phone call to your legislator can make a big difference.
Massachusetts civil legal aid programs are in crisis. Due to lack of funding, and faced with an overwhelming need for legal assistance, civil legal aid programs are forced to turn away nearly two-thirds of eligible low-income residents who seek help. Elected officials from across the state need to hear strong support for civil legal aid from their constituents if Massachusetts is to address the growing need for legal assistance.
How to call your legislator on January 26
– If you know the names of your senator and representative, call the State House switchboard at 617-722-2000 to be connected to their offices.
– To find out who your elected officials are, visit www.wheredoIvotema.com, type in your address, and click on the names of your state representative and state senator to access their direct phone number.
When you call, urge your elected representatives to make $23 million in funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (line item 0321-1600) one of their top priorities for the FY18 budget.
Here is a sample script you can use:
Hi, my name is ______ and I live at ________. I am a constituent of Senator/Representative ____ and an attorney at _____. Is Senator/Representative available? Is there someone in your office I can talk to about legal assistance funding?
(Reintroduce yourself to the staffer.)
I am calling today to ask for the Senator/Representative’s support for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation’s $23 million budget request for FY18 in line item 0321-1600. Civil legal aid provides vital support for low-income people facing critical legal problems related to housing, domestic violence, employment, health care, and many other issues.
Nearly two-thirds of eligible people in Massachusetts who seek civil legal aid services are turned away due to lack of funding. Turning people away not only places many individuals and families in crisis, it also costs the state money by pushing people into emergency services. By supporting funding for civil legal aid, Massachusetts can help our most vulnerable residents stay in their homes, find safety from abuse, and avoid other difficult and costly hardships. Funding for civil legal aid is also a sound economic investment: for every dollar the Commonwealth invests in civil legal aid, the return to the state and its residents is as much as five dollars.
I would appreciate if Senator/Representative ____ would get back to me on this important issue. My address is _____________, my phone is ______, and my email is _________________.
Let us know how your call went
Please let us know how your call went by filling out our short legislator response form, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talking points [PDF]
FY18 Fact Sheet [PDF]