Post-Election Engagement 2018
The 2018 midterm elections are over, now it’s time to get to work! We are inspired by the historic wave of women and diverse candidates elected to office and are excited to work with newly elected members and incumbents to advance bi-partisan solutions to global poverty and injustices. But we need your help to keep up the momentum post-election to engage incumbents and newly elected members alike.
Incumbents are focused on the work of the lame duck, which refers to the time that Congress is in session between an election and the start of the new Congress. Congress has a full agenda in the lame duck and it is anticipated that they will address everything from the Farm Bill to criminal justice reform. CARE anticipates that the Congress will take up the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act and the International Affairs Budget.
Bookmark www.careaction.org/actnow for the latest call to action on critical issues that need your support this November and December.
As newly elected members gear up for their life as a member of Congress, they are actively closing their campaigns, transitioning to Washington, and actively forging relationships with their future colleagues. New members are amid hiring key leadership staff and attending briefings hosted by their party. Most members are not fully staffed until the Spring 2019, but often bring top senior campaign staff to fill senior positions in their office.
But don't let that stop you from reaching out to your newly elected member of Congress. This is a critical time for them to hear from their new constituents. CARE advocates are a critical resource to providing direct support and policy expertise on issues that affect women and girls globally.
Tips for Engaging New Members
- Start Early: Best to engage candidates before they enter in January 2019 via direct engagement with campaigns, grass tops efforts
- Lots of Ground to Cover: Prepare for a large class of Freshman (new members), even larger if flip to Democratic majority.
- Patience is Key: New members will be overwhelmed first six months. Remember engaging these members is a marathon, not a sprint!
- Build a Solid Foundation: New members need expertise and are already thinking about November 2020. Tailoring communication based on elected officials interest and CARE Action’s stance on advocacy issues will be effective in establishing rapport.
Here's What You Can Do Right Now
Read up on your member of Congress and learn where they stand on key issues and pieces of legislation they currently support. You can search for members of Congress here.
If you have a new member of Congress representing you in D.C next year, it’s important to spend some time mapping what you know about their stance on our issues. You can find a helpful guide on how to map a member of Congress here.
Start reaching out to your newly elected member of Congress and introduce or re-introduce CARE and the global issues that deserve their attention. You can download a sample letter introducing CARE and our issues here.