Your Voice Matters
Face-to-face meetings with your representatives provide one of the best opportunities to express your opinion and discuss why global poverty issues matter to you. Though it may not seem like it, members of Congress are very interested in hearing what their constituents care about — and how they can relay that message to others on Capitol Hill.
Preparing for Meetings
Raising awareness can apply to small groups, internet posting and discussions, and even meeting with members of Congress. The idea of meeting with lawmakers may seem stressful but a few easy tips can make conducting a meeting with a member of Congress go more smoothly.
Be On Time
Arrive no more than five minutes before the meeting; Members are rarely available to meet earlier and Hill offices are too small to accommodate lingering constituents. If you are going to be late, inform the Scheduler in case another meeting time must be arranged.
Prepare to meet with either the Member or the Member’s staff; treat both with equal respect. If the Member arrives in the middle of your meeting, continue as usual; and the Member will ask questions if needed.
Stay on Topic
Raise only the issue you scheduled to discuss with the Member and the Member’s staff to keep the meeting focused and persuasive.
Keep Politics Out Of It
Do not discuss elections or campaign support in your meeting; it intimates that the Member is “for sale.” Respect the Member’s political views and relationships outside of the issue at hand.
Leave Behind Brief Information
Leave behind a 1-2 page briefing with data points on the issue discussed with the Member’s office; the document should serve as a helpful resource for staff as the issue moves through Congress.
Keeping these few things in mind as you prepare can help the work you do with CARE Action! to be more productive and rewarding for everyone involved.