Meeting with your elected Members of Congress is a powerful way to raise the profile of issues you care about and to effect change. It is difficult for Members of Congress and their staff to be well-versed on every issue, so this is an opportunity to educate them. You do not need to be a scholar or expert to make a contribution to a policymaker’s understanding of abuses and oppression suffered by IJM’s clients, and millions of people like them. Remember, meeting with constituents is part of our elected officials’ job. It is also how policymakers gauge what is important to those living in his/her district or state. And it is how we help decide our government’s priorities.
Senators and Representatives return home to their states and districts during Congressional recesses, so district meetings are a great opportunity to meet with these policymakers while they are in your area. Usually a district meeting lasts 20-25 minutes. During that time, you’ll want to make a personal connection with the Member of Congress and/or their staff, provide background information on the issue you plan to discuss, and make a specific “ask” of your Member.
Planning a successful District Meeting is easier than you think! Use these resources to schedule, prepare for and run a meeting that will share your passion to end slavery. Check out our resources for more information on how to conduct an effective district meeting.
FOLLOW UP - SUBMIT AN OP-ED
Already had your in-district meeting? Submitting an op-ed to your newspaper can be a great way to keep the momentum going. We've created a template that will give you a general structure, with room for you to add your own details and thoughts. As you make your additions, a friendly reminder that a suggested length for an op-ed is 750 words. You can download the template here.
Q&A CALL WITH IJM GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
For your reference (and in case you couldn't join us!), listen to this call's recording!
As you prepare for your meetings, do you find you have questions that we haven’t answered? Or maybe you'd like a little more background on the legislation and the importance of the J/TIP Office. We’re eager to help you get ready, so we hosted a conference call with Holly Burkhalter, Eileen Campbell, Annick Febrey, and Clara Campbell of IJM's Government Relations team.
Leave Behind Materials
Letter (SENATOR) (REPRESENTATIVE)
Fill this out so that the Justice Campaigns team in DC can follow up with your senators' or representative's staff in DC to let them know about your work!