For those of you who missed our recent training call on how to get a Congressional meeting set up, below is the audio. Please take the time to give this a listen so you know best how to start to schedule your meetings.
Meeting with your Members of Congress, with our peacebuilding message, is a key reason we are holding this conference. For those of you who haven’t done scheduling meetings before (or actual meetings), we recognize this might seem a little scary, but just know that this is what your congressional offices do day-in and day-out – it’s what they are there for. When you get to DC we will prep you thoroughly and you will have partners with you the whole way, including at your meetings. In the meantime though, meetings have to be scheduled ahead of time.
Now is a good time to start scheduling your meetings, as sometimes it takes a little persistence. You’ll want to reach out to your Member of the House of Representatives and your two Senators – (you can find their names here) to meet on Monday and Tuesday (depending on when you are leaving). A lot more tips are below, as well as on our call audio. Please review it all.
And, if you have additional questions, we are more than happy to help. Just reach out to us via email: [email protected] or call our DC office at 202-684-2553.
Please also download this updated spreadsheet with a list of key Republican committee members who are on our two main legislative priorities for the conference. Per requests on our call, this updated spreadsheet has four tabs, two are sorted alphabetically, the other two by state, for Senate and House. Please make a note if one of these members is your representative. Listen to the call audio for further instructions and target them as we suggest.
Please report all your meetings to as as you get them scheduled so we can keep track of everything at [email protected]
HOW TO SCHEDULE A CONGRESSIONAL MEETING:
Try to get meeting with the Rep or Senator, but it’s also fine to meet with the main aide too – the key aid that actually handles these issues. Get key aide for both issues at meeting.
Our main issues are:
- International Peacebuilding/International Conflict & Atrocities prevention
2. Juvenile Justice Issues and specifically Youth PROMISE Act and for those who are inspired
Additional option: US Dept. of Peacebuilding (listen to call audio for distinctions on when we are suggesting not to push DoP, specifically to the key republicans on key committees who we want to get on our other two bills, linked above).
- Make a list of what you want to say to the Scheduler and have it with you when you make the call. It may sound silly, and you may never even look at it, but it will definitely boost your confidence. They will ask for the date, of course, what you would like to speak to the Representative about, and possibly who will be attending the meeting.
- Issues: International Peacebuilding/International Conflict & Atrocities prevention & Juvenile Justice Issues and specifically Youth PROMISE Act
- Time requests
- How many people attending (guesstimate, at least two as we will be partnering you together)
- Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or your local office if a local meeting request and ask to be connected to your Member of Congress’s office or dial the number directly if you have it. If you don’t know who your representative is, or to make an appointment at a local office, go here to find your members. All you need is your zip code. You will need to do a web search for them to find local numbers.
- First thing to share is that you are a constituent of the Member of Congress.
- Ask to speak to the Scheduler or aide(s) in charge of your issues. Each office may have variances in how they like to schedule, just go with their flow. If she or he is unavailable leave a message with your name and phone number requesting a meeting. Most likely the person you leave a message for will return your phone call; however, if you do not hear back from the Scheduler by the next day, call again the following day. Remember that these people are very busy, but ultimately they work for you, and it is fully within your rights to ask to see and speak to the office. Keep making follow up calls, and don’t get discouraged. It sometimes takes awhile (often not).
- Be ready to tell the Scheduler what the meeting will pertain to. (see above) Inform the Scheduler you will be emailing a request for the meeting with all of the pertinent information they required. Ask for 40 minutes, you may only get 20 or 30, but try for more length.
- Congratulations, the hard part is over and you have the meeting secured. Last, but certainly not least, make a note in your planner to reconfirm your meeting the Thursday before your appointment is scheduled. It is always better to be safe than sorry.