2021 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 2021 Digital Lupus Advocacy Summit, lupus advocates will turn Capitol Hill purple virtually by participating in digital meetings with their members of Congress on Thursday, March 4.
The Lupus Foundation of America was one of the first national organizations to hold an entirely digital event in 2020, and Summit participants held more than 170 virtual meetings with their members of Congress. Based on that experience, we have implemented new policies and procedures that will allow all 2021 Summit participants to have the best possible experience and make a tremendous impact on their members of Congress.
But you can still participate in the Summit and make a huge difference! Advocates who register for the Summit after February 8 will be invited to participate in Virtual Advocacy Day on Thursday, March 4 and contact their members of Congress via email and social media.Register Now
In order to meet virtually with your members of Congress, you must have been registered for the Summit prior to Monday, February 8.
After registering for the Summit
Once you have registered for the 2021 Digital Lupus Advocacy Summit and indicated that you would like to participate in virtual meetings with your members of Congress, we will immediately begin the process of scheduling those 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.
After you have registered for the Summit and opted into virtual Hill meetings, you will next hear from us during the week of February 8. That week, you will receive an email with information for joining a prep webinar on Wednesday, February 17 at 7 pm Eastern.
On that webinar, we will detail the policy issues we will be discussing in this year's Hill meetings, detail how to structure a congressional meeting to make the most of your time with the office, and explain how we will be connecting you with your fellow advocates from your district and state to plan and strategize for each meeting.
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 mid-February.
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 registered for the Summit, they would all meet together with the Representative for that district. Similarly, if there are multiple people from the same state registered, 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.
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 be opted in prior to Monday, February 8, in order to meet virtually with your members of Congress.