Schedule Your Lobby Visit
Steps to set up a meeting:
Contact the Office
Many offices handle all in-state scheduling requests together. Call your member's D.C. office and ask how to schedule an in-state issue visit. They'll give you a phone number, email address, or web form you can use. You can also call your local office directly and ask for the state scheduler's contact information.
Send in a Written Request.
You can use the sample letter below as a starting point if the congressional office asks you to send an email -- just change the bolded phrases below. If they give a web form or phone number, give them the information that they ask for.
Dear Senator/Representative ________,
A group of us in [OUR STATE] have been concerned with the budget process in Washington. As you know, we have enormous needs in our state that are threatened with heavy budget cuts. We know that you are making decisions now on these issues and hope that you will support a balanced approach to budget issues that includes a $1 trillion cut in Pentagon spending over the next ten years.
Before Congress makes a decisions on additional spending cuts, we would like an opportunity to share our perspective on local needs and hear from you about ways to find savings in the Pentagon. We are writing now to request a meeting with [OUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS] or local staff working on the budget.
Our delegation will include [Larry, a librarian and teacher, Martha, a lawyer with 20 years of experience in our community and Judith, who is the chair of the tri state Rotary Club].
Please let us know what other information we can provide to move this request forward.
Congressional offices receive hundreds of pieces of mail each day. Make sure your request for a meeting doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Follow up the day after your request to check that they've received it, and then follow up again two to three days later to ask for an answer. If your member of Congress isn't available, you'll often be able to meet with a local staff member. You can also request a conference call with a legislative assistant in DC who may be able to provide more information about policy issues.
Get ready for the meeting
- Check FCNL’s online congressional directory for your members’ contact information, as well as background information, committee assignments, and voting records. You will also find their declared religious affiliations, which can be useful for an interfaith delegation.
- You can be in touch with Annie Boggess in our office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-630-1330 x 2505) if you have additional questions or to let us know what you learned in your lobby visit.