Each year, Congress is out of session for the month of August in order to give Senators and Representatives a chance to return home and hear from their constituents about the issues that matter most to them. Time away from the packed schedules of Washington allows members to connect with those they represent and learn how they can better serve their needs.
According to a report from the Congressional Management Foundation, 95% of Representatives surveyed rated "staying in touch with constituents" as the job aspect most critical to their effectiveness.
The August recess presents a tremendous opportunity for lupus advocates to meet with their members of Congress to tell the lupus story - this is how lupus has affected me, and this is what you and your colleagues in Congress can do to join the fight against this devastating disease. Meeting with your members of Congress is easy, it's empowering, and it will make an enormous impact!
What You Need to Know
Don't worry if you have never met with a member of Congress before - we'll support you every step of the way. Once you let us know that you are interested in participating, we will be in touch with the specifics! we are asking for the following commitment:
- Attend a general Lupus Advocacy Teleconference. Confirm by taking a post-teleconference quiz
- Attend a teleconference specific to your elected officials
- Follow-up with the chapter:
- Once your meeting is scheduled, please submit the date and time of your meeting.
- Following the meeting, submit a follow-up survey.
Questions? We are here to help. Contact Consuelo Farley at email@example.com.
Sign Up to Learn More
If you're interested in meeting with one (or all 3!) of your members of Congress this August to tell the lupus story, fill out the form below.
REGISTRATION IS CLOSED
PLANNING & PREPARING FOR YOUR MEETINGS
It’s time to get started! The first thing you should do is review this webinar where we discuss in detail everything you’ll need to know about scheduling and preparing for a meeting with your member of Congress. To view the webinar, you will just need to enter your name and email address.
Once you have reviewed the webinar, here are some additional links and documents you will need:
Identify your members of Congress
Find out who represents you in Congress and navigate to each of their websites.
August District Meetings – Planning Worksheet
Plan out which of your members you will meet with, when you should submit your scheduling request, and when to follow up with their office if you do not hear back.
10 Steps to Scheduling a Congressional Meeting
This document will walk you through the entire scheduling process, just as we did on the webinar above. It also includes template language that you can use should your member’s website ask you to send an email to their scheduler to request a meeting.
Preparing for a Congressional Meeting
This document will give you tips and tricks for planning how you will introduce yourself, tell your story, make the asks, and much more in your meeting.
As discussed on the webinar, it is always a good idea to bring materials to leave with the office. Be sure to note the instructions for printing these documents and assembling a leave-behind folder on the first page of this file. The documents included in this file will also help you familiarize yourself with the priority issues that we want to talk to our members about.
AFTER YOUR MEETINGS
With meetings starting to take place, here is some information for after your meetings:
Congressional Meeting Report
Once you have successfully held a meeting with your member of Congress, let us know how it went! Completing this form will tell us about your meeting - who you met with, if there is any follow up that needs to be done, how they responded to our asks, etc. Note: you should complete one separate form for each congressional office that you meet with.
Follow Up Language
As we mentioned on the webinar last month, it’s important to follow up with the office after your meeting to thank them for their time and reiterate some of what was discussed in the meeting. Click the link above to download template language that you can customize and send to the staffer you met with. Note that the language is different for Representatives and Senators, so please confirm that you are sending the correct language. If you need help finding a staffer’s contact information, please let us know.