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Congressional Visit and Advocacy Best Practices

Use our tips for engaging elected officials in meetings and town hall discussions.

 

Pictured from left to right: Former FASEB President Judith Bond, FASEB President-Elect Hudson Freeze, Adam Fagen, Tom Baldwin, Vicki Chandler, and Kim Barrett take part in a congressional office visit during FASEB’s 2013 Capitol Hill day

Before the Visit

FASEB staff can assist with your congressional office meeting.

  • Be prepared. What is your “ask?”
    In other words, what specifically would you like the member of Congress to do? Determine if your legislator has any relevant committee appointments (e.g.: Appropriations and Budget).

    Search for more information, use the “Find Officials” feature on our Legislative Action Center page
  • Do your homework. Check the member’s website, how they vote on www.congress.gov, and their social media sites to learn about their positions on relevant issues
  • Gather relevant materials. Collect any materials you intend to leave with congressional staffers, such as the FASEB issue briefs and factsheets listed below:

During the Visit

Turn off your cell phone
Introduce yourself and mention your institutional affiliations
Open with your “ask”
Follow with a personal story
Leave behind materials—including your contact information/business card—for the staffer to review 
If you don't know the answer to a question, respond by email after the meeting
Unsure about a legislative issue or topic?  Ask FASEB staff for help

    After the Visit

    • Stay in touch. Follow-up the visit with an email thanking the member of Congress or staffer for their time and briefly summarizing the major issues discussed, including your “ask.” Keep in touch with your legislator through occasional correspondence and visits to the local office. Be sure to follow through on any commitments you made to staffers.
    • Share your experience. Check in with FASEB Office of Public Affairs staff. Ask them for help with follow up materials if needed. Complete a visit report form and send to FASEB or contact: