HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> "Africa and the Middle East Advocacy Days"  -  Washington, DC  -  February 23-26, 2003
February 23-26, 2003
Africa and the Middle East
Advocacy Days

Washington, DC

 

LOBBY DAY
Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Overview

There will be a Lobby Day all day on Wednesday, February 26.  There will be hospitality throughout the day in the United Methodist Building Conference Rooms (100 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC). 

Lobby day briefings for the Africa and Middle East tracks will be part of the conference sessions on Tuesday, February 25. 

Plan to visit both your Representative and Senators.  We are suggesting that visits with Representatives be scheduled during the first part of the day (9 am-1 pm), and with Senators in the afternoon (1-5 pm).

See the daily schedule for advocacy training workshops and lobby visit de-briefing sessions available on Wednesday, February 26.

If no one is available to meet with you in person on the 26th, please still plan on making a visit to your congressional offices.  Even dropping by an office to leave a written note and other informational resources can be effective advocacy.

Setting the Appointments

U.S. House of Representatives:

Participants are responsible for making their own appointments with their Representative or one of his or her staff persons before coming to Washington.

When you make an appointment, please leave a message for Jim Bowman at jbowman@lwr.org (or at 202-783-6887) stating your 1) name, 2) state, 3) name of Representative, 4) time of appointment, and 5) Advocacy Days track (Africa or Middle East).  Please put "ADVOCACY DAYS, YOUR STATE, YOUR NAME" in the e-mail subject line.  This information will be entered into a master calendar and available at the registration table in order to connect participants from the same Congressional Districts.

Contact your Representative’s office at least two weeks in advance, preferably earlier.  Telephone is the best method of contact.  You may also use fax or e-mail.  We do not recommend letters.

To schedule a visit:

  • By phone, call the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 – give the operator your Representative’s name and ask to be connected to the office.  E-mail and fax contacts for individual Representatives can be identified at http://www.house.gov/  or call your Representative’s local office to obtain his/her phone or fax number in Washington.

  • State that you are asking for this appointment as part of  either
    “Ecumenical Advocacy Days on
    Africa” or  “Ecumenical Advocacy Days on the Middle East” (depending on the particular track that you will be following). 

  • Be sure to schedule your appointment for Wednesday, February 26.

  • Make every effort to schedule your House appointment between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm.

  • Confirm your appointment afterwards with a brief e-mail or fax.

  • If the Member will not be available due to other obligations on February 26, ask for an appointment with the legislative aide who deals with your issue.  This does not mean that the meeting is less effective.  Aides brief their Member of Congress on the issues.  They write his or her speeches, and in many cases recommend how the Member should vote.

  • You may discover that your Representative has already scheduled a meeting with others from your track who contacted him/her before you.  In that case, simply ask if you can join that meeting.

United States Senate:
We plan to ask a registrant to be a point person in each state to schedule appointments. 

  • If you have already made a Senate appointment please leave a message for Jim Bowman at:  jbowman@lwr.org (or at 202-783-6887) stating your 1) name, 2) state, 3) name of Senator, 4) time of appointment, and 5) Advocacy Days track (Africa or Middle East).

  • If you are willing to be a point person to arrange Senate meetings for your state, please leave a message for Jim Bowman at:  jbowman@lwr.org (or at 202-783-6887) stating your 1) name, 2) state, and 3) Advocacy Days track (Africa or Middle East).

Please put "ADVOCACY DAYS, YOUR STATE, YOUR NAME" in the e-mail subject line.

To schedule a visit:

  • By phone, call the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 – give the operator your Senator’s name and ask to be connected to the office.  E-mail and fax contacts for individual Senators can be identified at http://www.senate.gov/  or call your Senator’s local office to obtain his/her phone or fax number in Washington.

  • State that you are asking for this appointment as part of  either
    “Ecumenical Advocacy Days on
    Africa” or  “Ecumenical Advocacy Days on the Middle East” (depending on the particular track that you will be following). 

  • Be sure to schedule your appointment for Wednesday, February 26.

  • Make every effort to schedule your Senate appointment between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

  • Confirm your appointment afterwards with a brief e-mail or fax.

  • If the Member will not be available due to other obligations on February 26, ask for an appointment with the legislative aide who deals with your issue.  This does not mean that the meeting is less effective.  Aides brief their Member of Congress on the issues.  They write his or her speeches, and in many cases recommend how the Member should vote.

  • You may discover that your Senator has already scheduled a meeting with others from your track who contacted him/her before you.  In that case, simply ask if you can join that meeting.

Preparing for the Visit

  • In advance of our Advocacy Days, find out as much as you can about your Member’s voting record on issues related to your track.

  • At registration we will note the schedules you have set, and we will seek to coordinate meetings for all at the Advocacy Days who are with us from the same district and state.  Plan to find time during our meetings to have a strategy session.  Together plan the points you will stress and who will take the lead; agree on questions you will ask and materials you will bring.

  • Assume you will have only 10 minutes to make your case, so limit yourselves to 2-3 key points.  If you are given more time, you can expand on the topic. 

  • There will be materials available at the Lobby Day Briefing (Tuesday, Feb. 25) about the latest policy developments.  There will also be materials that you can leave with Congressional offices when you visit.

Visiting Your Legislators

  • When you begin a conversation with your legislator or an aide, introduce yourselves as constituents and mention any organizations that you represent.  Be pleasant and come to the point quickly.

  • State the purpose of your visit.  Explain your position succinctly, and request specific actions that you want your legislator to take.  Ask what the Member of Congress plans to do regarding your concerns.  Be persistent and polite.

  • Briefly share your experience or credentials relevant to the issues at hand.  Comment on a past vote of the Member, thanking him or her, if possible, for a vote or action in favor of something related to your region of interest that you support.

  • One person should take notes during the conversation, being sure to write down any commitments made by the legislator or aide.

  • Afterward, send a letter thanking the Member of Congress for the meeting.  Briefly recap your position and your understanding of any commitments made during the meeting.

Directions to Lobby Day Hospitality

The United Methodist Building is located on Capitol Hill (110 Maryland Ave., NE).  The nearest Metro stations are Union Station [on the Red Line] and Capitol South [on the Blue and Orange lines]

  • From Union Station take First St., NE towards the Capitol Building.  Cross Constitution Avenue – the Methodist Building will be on your left at the next corner (Maryland Ave.). 

  • From Capitol South, take First St., SE uphill towards Capitol.  The Methodist Building will be on your right, directly across the street from the Supreme Court.

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