Use this tool to assign responsibilities and plan for your lobby visits on any issue.
Meeting face to face with your members of Congress is the single most effective way to persuade them to support the issues you care about. These meetings them know that their constituents are paying attention — and that they support peace, justice, and sustainability.
Roles and Responsibilities
Start by designating a group leader and a note-taker.
- Set a pre-meeting date and location
- Find out how much time you have for the lobby visit
- Suggest an allocation of time and issues among delegation members
- Identify an issue for which the legislator could be thanked
- Introduce the delegation
- Make sure the ask is repeated clearly several times
- Facilitate the flow of conversation among delegation members
- Convey intention to follow up.
- Obtain the names and contact information of everyone in the meeting to give to the staffer
- Take notes during the meeting
- Submit lobby visit report to FCNL
Share personal stories about why this issue matters to you. You don’t need to be an expert; your members of Congress work for you and care about your opinions. Telling your story is an important way to connect with the values and priorities your members of Congress care about, and it can help change their minds.
Remember: Be polite and respectful! This meeting is part of building a relationship with your member of Congress. Find common ground where you can.
1. Introduce yourselves, starting with the group leader.
Begin with a round of introductions and exchange contact information. Explain who you are and your relevant faith/community/campus affiliations. Note-taker gives the staffer a list of your delegation members and their affiliations.
2. Say “thank you” (group leader)
Thank the office for a position the legislator has taken which you support.
3. Introduce the ask (group leader)
4. Tell your stories (delegation members)
Explain why you care about this issue and what it means to your community.
5. Respond to follow up questions and listen (delegation members)
Ask for and listen to the legislator’s or staffers’ responses to your request.
6. Repeat the ask (delegation member)
After your discussion, repeat the ask, give the office a “leave behind” with your asks, and assure follow up.
7. Thank the office for meeting with you (group leader)
8. Follow up with the staffer (delegation member)
You may want to ask when follow up would be useful. Otherwise, email the staffer within three days of the visit.