Make an appointment to visit your member of Congress when they are home on
long weekends or during congressional recesses. Congress typically convenes in
early January and adjourns in early October. Dates vary, but recesses generally
take place around the following times: President's Day, Easter, Memorial Day,
Independence Day, the month of August, and Labor Day. Be persistent-you may need
to make a number of calls to arrange the meeting.
Make clear which issue(s) you want to discuss (no more than three).
Gather information. Learn about your legislators' records on ANA issues.
Become familiar with the opposition's views and arguments on the issues to help
you answer questions.
Prepare materials to leave with the legislator or staff such as copies of
relevant ANA position papers, and a memo or fact sheet summarizing your main
Work in coalition to underscore the broad appeal of your position. Agree on
specific talking points and lobbying goals and designate a lead spokesperson for
Confirm the appointment the morning of or day before the meeting. Arrive on
Identify yourself as a member of your C/SNA with a pin or name tag.
Introduce yourself and start on a positive note. If s/he recently voted in
support of an ANA issue, thank her/him.
Clearly state the position of your C/SNA, ANA, or the coalition you are
Explain your position with facts, but also use personal stories when
possible. Let the legislator understand the personal ramifications or benefits
resulting from their actions.
If you don't understand something, ask for an explanation.
Ask the legislator or staff to clarify what their position is on the
Ask the legislator to take some specific actions such as sponsoring a bill,
or voting for or against a pending measure.
If you don't know the answer to a question, say so, but offer to get an
Thank the legislator and staff as you leave.