UMN Advocates

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2022 Legislative Kickoff

What is UMN Advocates?

help build a stronger U of M

UMN Advocates helps you, as a U of M supporter:

  1. Stay informed about politics, higher education, and the legislative process.
  2. Learn how to tell your U of M story to legislators so they can see the huge influence the U of M has statewide.

UMN Advocates engages students, alumni, faculty, and community members to build a stronger U of M for years to come.

How U of M Legislative Advocacy Can Work for You

Let's get started!

What do I need to know?

your ideas and stories

can shape legislation

Know your own story. Know you have the courage to send an email, make a phone call, attend an event, or send a tweet to lawmakers. 

The University of Minnesota has impacted your life. Maybe you are a student. Maybe you are an alumnus. Or maybe you or a loved one was a patient at a U of M hospital. These stories have impact. They show lawmakers the broad value of the University of Minnesota.

As you form your story, think about three simple questions:

  1. Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?
  2. How did the U of M improve your life?
  3. If you could wave a magic wand, how would you help the University?

If you can answer these three questions, you have a compelling story to tell legislators.

Don’t worry about knowing what the University’s most pressing needs are. Don’t sweat the details of a budget or a proposed building. Just understand that if students and alumni all contact legislators with a U of M story, that is nearly a million people telling lawmakers to #SupportTheU!

The truth is that every Minnesotan has a stake in the success of the University of Minnesota. The U of M…

  • Discovers new knowledge that pushes Minnesota forward
  • Educates Minnesota's future leaders, health care workers, engineers, and entrepreneurs
  • Creates thousands of Minnesota jobs

The U of M changes lives in every corner of our state.

So, if you want to help secure a better result for the U of M at the Legislature, please take a moment to discover more about…

How can I do my part?

tell your story

Good news: You don't need to be an expert in politics or higher education policy to make a real difference at the Capitol. You just need a willingness to tell your story about how the U of M makes a positive difference in your life or the life of someone you care about. Personal stories are essential to good policy. They show lawmakers the real-world impact of the decisions they make and help secure a better result for the U of M.

Do you want to do your part to ensure a bright future for the U of M?


Here's how

  1. Register to vote

    Here's the truth: lawmakers at the capitol in St. Paul and at the federal capitol in Washington D.C. are in the process of shaping your future. There is nothing more powerful than telling a legislator, “I care about this issue, and I vote.” Register to vote at your current address and vote in every election.

  2. Join UMN Advocates

    Free membership allows you to receive the latest updates on what's happening at the capitol in St. Paul and in Washington D.C. and how it affects the University of Minnesota.

    Also, you will be the first to know when it is time to stand up and support the U of M.

  3. Watch for action alerts

    Stay tuned for action alerts sent by UMN Advocates. These alerts make it easy to take action on important legislative issues in a timely manner. When you get an action alert, drop everything and take action! It just takes a few minutes to tell your story and make a difference.

  4. Find your representatives

    Think of these individuals as your friends. They are working hard to improve the quality of life in your community. Find out who represents you at the Capitol in St. Paul and in Washington, D.C.

  5. Build relationships

    In between action alerts, build a relationship with your local legislators. Elected officials count on their constituents to let them know what is important in their communities. Building relationships with your elected officials is a great way to influence the legislative process and to promote the University of Minnesota.

Tips on building relationships

Write an Email

A thoughtful email illustrating a personal story often makes a great impression.

  • Find your legislator.
  • Tell your story:
    • Why the U of M?
    • How are you making Minnesota a better place?
    • What are some obstacles that you have experienced?
  • Keep the tone positive and courteous.
  • Indicate that you would appreciate a reply.


Tweeting legislators is a surprisingly effective method of communication.

  • Find the Twitter handles of your elected officials and tag them to say hello, share your opinion, or ask a question.
  • Think about including any relevant hashtags that may be available.
  • And don't forget that a positive and courteous tone applies to social media too.

Phone Call

Calling your lawmaker is quick and easy. The vast majority of the time you will leave a message. Go to to get your Senator or Representative's contact information.

When you call, give your name and express your thoughts. Stay positive and let the lawmaker know why the University of Minnesota is important to you. When they call you back, don't be intimidated. Simply have a conversation and remind them that you are a voter, the University is important to you, and ask them to support the U!

In Person

The best way to meet your lawmakers and have a face-to-face discussion is to join us for Support the U Day or Bulldog Day at the Capitol. We take care of all the hard stuff, setting up the appointment, providing transportation, and giving you legislative background.

All you do is show up and tell your elected official your story. Remember, you are their boss, you can hold them accountable for their votes!

Letter to the Editor

The opinion page is a widely read section of the newspaper. Letters to the editor are often saved by elected officials and can indicate to opinion leaders that an issue is on the public's mind. Even a few letters throughout Minnesota can spur increased news coverage and renewed attention.

Your story is a powerful way to bring to life your support for the University of Minnesota. Feel free to mention the broad importance of the U of M, but be sure to talk about your personal connection as well.