2022 Digital Lupus Advocacy Summit: Congressional Meetings
Each year at the annual Lupus Advocacy Summit, whether in-person or digital, lupus advocates tell their stories and urge their members of Congress to support policies that will improve the lives of all people living with lupus.
As part of the 2022 Digital Lupus Advocacy Summit, lupus advocates can turn Capitol Hill purple virtually by participating in digital meetings with their members of Congress on Wednesday, June 29.
The Lupus Foundation of America was one of the first national organizations to hold an entirely digital event in 2020, holding more than 170 virtual congressional meetings, and built on that success with more than 300 at the 2021 Digital Lupus Advocacy Summit. Based on that experience, we have implemented new policies and procedures that will allow 2022 Summit participants to have the best possible experience while making a tremendous impact on their members of Congress.
In order to have the chance to meet virtually with your members of Congress during the 2022 Digital Lupus Advocacy Summit, you must have been registered prior to Sunday, May 22 so that we have ample time to schedule your meetings and prepare you and your fellow advocates. You can still register for the Summit and participate in our annual Virtual Advocacy Day on June 29 where you'll contact your members of Congress via email and social media.Register Now
After registering for the Summit
After the deadline to opt into virtual congressional meetings on May 22, you'll hear from us that week with more information about the process moving forward and exactly what it will entail.
While we will do our best to ensure as many advocates as possible are able to participate, please note that due to limits on the size of congressional meetings, regretfully, not every advocate who signs up for congressional meetings will be able to participate. Meeting participants will be selected based on the order in which they registered for Summit. Advocates unable to participate in meetings this year will be able to participate in Virtual Advocacy Day and contact their elected officials via email and social media.
After the deadline, we will immediately begin the process of scheduling your meetings using the address you provided during registration. Please do not attempt to schedule your own meetings, as it can confuse the congressional office and will delay the process. If you believe that the address you provided during registration was incorrect, please let Travis Smith know as soon as possible.
Which members of Congress will I be meeting with?
You'll be meeting with your U.S. Representative and at least one of your two U.S. Senators. Because of the size of the expected attendance at the Summit, and the importance of keeping Hill meetings to a manageable number of participants, we cannot guarantee that you'll be able to meet with both of your Senators. More information about your meetings will be shared with you in late May.
Will I be in meetings by myself, or with other advocates?
It depends on where you are from, and who else registers for the Summit from your area. We will only schedule one meeting per congressional district and for each Senator (each state has two). If there are multiple people from the same congressional district participating in the meeting, they would all meet together with the Representative for that district. Similarly, if there are multiple people from the same state participating, they would meet together with one or both of the Senators from that state. And if you are the only person registered from your district or from your state, you would be the only advocate in those meetings.
In advance of the Summit, we will share information and tips for making the most of every virtual Hill meeting, whether it is an individual or group meeting.
I've never met with members of Congress before — should I be nervous?
Absolutely not! Every year at the Summit, we have lots of advocates who are advocating on Capitol Hill (or virtually!) for the very first time and almost universally, they have a great time, do an incredible job, and are immediately looking forward to the next time they can do it. We promise to provide you with all of the information you'll need to effectively tell your story, speak about the policy issues we are supporting, and run an effective, impactful meeting.
With that being said, while participating in virtual meetings is not something that requires previous advocacy experience, it does require a time commitment. Prior to your meetings, you'll need to connect with the other advocates who will be in the meetings with you, attend an additional training prior to the Summit (date TBD), and stay on top of your emails leading up to June. We'll coordinate all of this and make it as easy for you as possible, but be aware that it does require more attention than participating in Virtual Advocacy Day.
If you still have questions about your ability to do this, please contact us and let us convince you that you can!
I don't remember whether I opted into Hill meetings or not when I registered.
It happens! Please send us an email as soon as possible and we will let you know how you answered and make any changes that are necessary.
Please note that you must have been opted in prior to Sunday, May 22 in order to have the opportunity to meet virtually with your members of Congress.