Local Action for STatewide Results
The Local Action for Statewide Results (LASR) program is a member-driven grassroots effort to strengthen the relationship between the IFT and members of the Illinois General Assembly. The intention of the program is to establish LASR committees in select House and Senate districts that will hold regular meetings with members of the General Assembly. The goal is to build long-lasting relationships and formalize our line of communication with various lawmakers on key issues.
Ideally, LASR committee members will meet with legislators at least twice per year in the legislator's district office. The size of each committee will vary by region. Committees should be large enough to ensure that a sufficient number of IFT members are available to meet with the legislator, but not so large that the meeting is unwieldy or unproductive. The IFT will work with each LASR committee to provide support and materials for the meetings.
School Funding and the State Budget
Pension Funding and Benefits
Education Reform Proposals
interested in the lasr program
Sign up to volunteer and be part of the union’s effort to educate lawmakers on the issues that are important to us. Your participation can have a huge impact on decisions being made in Springfield that affect your profession.
To volunteer just e-mail LASR@ift-aft.org.
Effective lobbying tips
Know what points you want to stress. When possible, explain how this affects you or your members.
Time is valuable. Stick to the point. Don't discuss more than two issues per meeting; one is best.
Always identify yourself as a union member and constituent.
Be polite & Honest
Be confident and straightforward without being rude. Never lie, betray a confidence, threaten, misrepresent facts, or criticize other legislators or opposing groups.
get an answer
Ask the legislator their position, listen and don't interrupt, but be sure to get a specific answer.
When a legislator is undecided, get back to them with more information and ask again for a specific position.
Face-to-face visits at the district office or the Capitol are best. When possible, bring four or five union or community members to emphasize the importance of the issue.
Make notes on points you wish to stress and ask for specific action. Be polite to staff answering the phones.
When speed is necessary, use an e-mail to get your message across. To ensure the message reaches its destination, you should follow with a call or letter via the mail.
Short ONE-PAGE letters written in your own words are also effective. They should cover only one issue. Explain your position, urge the legislator to take a specific action, and ask for their position on the issue. Following up with a call is always a good idea.
Union members need to be present at legislators' district meetings to raise labor's concerns.
North Suburban Teachers Union, Local 1274
When people attack unions, they are attacking democracy in action. I can't just stand by and not speak out against that.
CTU-ACTS, Local 1
Teachers do even more for students when they have the power to participate in decisions and advocate for students without fear of reprisal.
Park Forest Teachers Federation Council, Local 604
The IFT gives us strength in numbers to not only bargain fair contracts, but to stand up for our interests in Springfield. Our union is our advocate.
IFT offers a wide variety of professional development programs designed to keep member informed, engaged, and active.
National, state, and local resources related to the legislative process and other important association links.
Empower yourself. Check your voter registration status, register, find IFT-endorsed candidates, and other useful voter tools and resources.
Engage in your community! Contact IFT to find available volunteer opportunities online or near you.