Work with your state legislators to eliminate the discriminatory tampon tax and make products available in schools, homeless shelters, and prisons.
- Eliminate Tampon tax
The tampon tax refers to a luxury tax on menstrual products. Yup, you read that right! This means that menstrual products are considered to be items of luxury, and not of necessity. In contrast, many products like Viagra and Rogaine are not taxed. A crucial step in our fight for menstrual equity is ending the tampon tax!
- Why it Matters: Access to menstrual products in schools, shelters, and prisons
In schools: Menstrual hygiene products are basic necessities, eand the inability to access them affects a student’s freedom to study, be healthy, and participate in society with dignity. Like toilet paper, these products should be provided in all restrooms for easy and direct access rather than creating a barrier by being placed in one central restroom or in the nurse's office.
In shelters: Currently, the Internal Revenue Service does not classify tampons and pads as medical expenses. Thus, tampons and pads cannot be purchased through government assistance programs like SNAP or Medicaid. This issue has especially been affecting menstruators in the homeless community
In Prisons: Some prisons across the country are degrading menstruators by failing to provide incarcerated women with adequate menstrual products and exposing them to major health risks.
Though PERIOD. is currently focused on exempting the tampon tax in the remainder of US states and providing menstrual products in schools across the country, our goal is to influence positive change to ultimately end period poverty on all levels.
- 5 Steps to Meet with your legislator
Figure out who your state representatives are:
Decide which state representative it is you would like to meet with and find their information in order to contact them.
To do so you can visit: HTTPS://WHOISMYREPRESENTATIVE.COM/
2. Request meeting:
After finding their contact information reach out via email and phone call and mention the issue you plan to speak about.
It's common to find that your state representative is too busy to meet, if that is the case, be sure to request a meeting with a member of their core staff. Staff members are often aware of specific bills and common issues across the state, speaking to them is an effective way of relaying information to your state representative.
a. Review the list of talking points and be sure to fully understand the issue(s) you will be speaking about. firstname.lastname@example.org can help you prepare talking points.
b. Make the most of your time. Meeting with a representative are typically scheduled for 15 to 45 minutes. For that reason, keep the number of issues you plan to speak about to a maximum of 2.
c. If 2 or more people will be attending the meeting, decide who will be attending and what points each person will be making.
d. Understand what your goals are for this meeting and what you plan to achieve by meeting with the legislator or their staff.
e. Be sure to leave a printed copy of the handout with your contact information in case the legislator plans to reach back out to you.
a. Your representatives are very busy, be respectful of their time and try to arrive 10-15 minutes early.
b. Have a notebook and take clear notes about what the representative says. Make sure to write down any names of different representatives that could be allies to the movement or any bills that would be useful to read and learn more about.
Possible talking points:
Issues surrounding period poverty in your respective state
Tax on menstrual products in your state (if applicable)
Bills introduced or passed that are related to improving the accessibility and/or affordability of menstrual products. This includes schools, shelters, prisons.
5.Follow-up and follow-through.
It’s important to send a thank you letter/email to your representative as soon as possible.
Review the notes you took down during the meeting and look over what questions have been answered or what questions you may still have for you representative.
Be sure to follow up with any useful materials that your representative may have requested.
It’s important to keep the Period team updated and all the policy work you are doing. Be sure to send an email to email@example.com and inform them about the meeting you have scheduled and update them on what progress you may have made.