Meet with Your Member of Congress

Legislators' schedules fill rapidly, so plan your meeting well in advance. Members of Congress are usually in their districts during holidays and Congressional recesses, and often on Mondays and Fridays. You can find the congressional schedule by looking at the House or Senate website at www.house.gov or www.senate.gov or by calling the Member of Congress' office.

  • Assemble a small group that represents the diversity of your community and is interested and knowledgeable about your issue. A group can demonstrate the breadth of support for your position. Just be sure to keep the group small, three to four members, to have an effective visit.
  • Call the state or district office and ask for the scheduler or appointment secretary. You should also ask for the name and contact information of the policy advisor or legislative aide (LA) working on your issues. Explain your purpose and whom you represent. Be clear about any sense of urgency (budget, appropriations, legislation coming up, etc.) It is easier for congressional staff to arrange a meeting if they know exactly what you wish to discuss, who will be attending, and why you think the Member of Congress will be interested.
  • Almost all offices require a faxed copy of a meeting request before they will consider scheduling a meeting. Be sure to fax both the scheduler and the advisor or aide working on your issue. Please see sample letter below. Be sure to follow up a few days later. Members of Congress' offices process numerous requests a day, and staff may not notice if your request goes unanswered.
  • After the meeting has been scheduled, forward any background materials to the Member of Congress' office with a cover letter restating the time and purpose of the meeting.
  • Call the day before the meeting to confirm. This also will give you the opportunity to confirm who else will be in attendance.
  • After the meeting, be sure to send a follow-up note thanking the Member of Congress/staff for their time and summarizing the salient points of the meeting.


Month XX, Year

To a Senator:

The Honorable (full name)
__(Rm.#)__(name of)Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

To a Representative:

The Honorable (full name)
__(Rm.#)__(name of)House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

ATTN: EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT / SCHEDULER

Dear Representative or Senator ______:

(Note: When writing to the Chair of a Committee or the Speaker of the House, it is proper to address them as:
Dear Mr. Chairman or Madam Chairwoman:

Dear Madam Speaker or Mr. Speaker: )

As your constituent and [member of organization], I am writing to request an opportunity to meet with you on [date] between [times]. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss [issue].

[Issue] is important because [1-2 sentences].

Please know that I fully appreciate the demands placed upon your schedule; however, I sincerely hope an opportunity exists for us to spend some time together to discuss [issue].

Thank you in advance for your consideration of my request. To confirm the meeting date and time please feel free to contact me by phone at [phone number] or by email at [email address]. I will follow up in a few days to confirm the details of the appointment.

Sincerely,


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