Build a Relationship with Congress
Why build a relationship?
One of the most effective ways to influence your legislator is to meet in person. A direct conversation--whether with your legislators or their staff--enables you to establish a real relationship. You can share your concerns directly, ask questions about important policy issues, and hear what your legislator has to say.
Understanding why a legislator holds a particular position opens the door for education and friendly persuasion.
Remember, you don't have to travel all the way to Washington to meet with your members of Congress or their staff. It's often easier to get an appointment in the district office, and you'll have just as much influence. You can also invite your members of Congress to a community event.
"I'm here, at Capitol Hill in the lobbying session, because I think that every single decision that is made here not only affects American citizens, but the worldwide community, and I want to have, regardless of how small it might be, my impact on those decisions."
- Joel Lazada, at the 2011 Spring Lobby Weekend
Resources for building a relationship
- How to schedule a lobby visit
- Check our Congressional Directory to find contact information your Representative and Senators, both in Washington DC and in your district.
- Be sure to follow our tips for meeting with members of Congress and their staff.
- Check the House and Senate websites to see when members of Congress are in Washington, DC and when they are at home.
- Report back! Let us know how your lobby visit went. This helps us refine and strenghten our lobbying, and share your tips and suggestions with other constituents who want to lobby.