Capitol Hill 101 1 - Page 5

CAPITOL HILL 101 MEETING WITH YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS Visiting your Members of Congress, or their staff, face-to-face is the most effective way to influence them. Individuals and groups can arrange personal meetings with Senators and Representative either in their Washington offices, or in their local offices at various times during the year. To find out when your Senator or Representative will be in their local office, you can: call their local office, check their web site or get on their mailing list. Whether you arrange to meet with your elected officials in Washington or their local offices, here are some rules to follow: Prepare for the Meeting • Plan to discuss no more than two issues. Meetings are scheduled to last from 15- to 45-minutes. • If you have any supporting handouts, charts or graphics, bring them with you. Consider taking extra copies in case staff members request them. • Find out where your legislator stands and has voted on your issue. Many pro-life groups, such as Americans United for Life, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council and National Right to Life have excellent scorecards. At the Meeting • Arrive about 10 minutes before the appointment time. At least, be on time. Dress neatly and conservatively. Be courteous and respectful. Relax. • Do not be upset if you end up meeting with the legislator's staff. They are often more knowledgeable of individual issues than the legislators themselves, and they WILL inform the legislator of your views and requests.