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
- Be prepared. What is your “ask?” What specifically would you like the member of Congress to do? Determine if your legislator has any relevant House or Senate committee appointments (e.g.: Appropriations and Budget).
- 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,or whether they’ve signed letters supporting federal funding for research:
FY 2017 NIH funding request – letter to House; letter to Senate
FY 2018 NIH funding request – letter to House
FY 2017 NSF funding request – letter to House
FY 2018 NSF funding request – letter to House
- Gather relevant materials. Collect any materials you intend to leave with congressional staffers, such as the FASEB issue briefs and factsheets listed below:
State and District Factsheets
Federal Funding Report
Breakthroughs in Bioscience and Horizons in Bioscience Articles
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:
Jennifer Zeitzer - firstname.lastname@example.org or 301.634.7128
Benjamin Krinsky - email@example.com or 301.634.7658