1. Advocacy Resource

Moving Your Members of Congress Toward Peace and Justice

Scales of Leadership


Whether your members of Congress are consistent advocates for peace and justice, or they're quiet or active against the issues you care about, there's always something you can ask them to do to tip the scale toward justice.

Scale of leadership

Where do your members of Congress put their weight?

In preparing to use this resource, research your member of Congress’ background and voting history on the issue.

As you engage your members, acknowledge their position, thank them when appropriate, and make asks that strategically and reasonably challenge their position – wherever they stand.

Every member can be shifted toward positive leadership. And even the best congressional champions can be asked to do more.

Use the descriptions below to identify where your members of Congress put their weight, and find actions you can take to tip the scale.

Scale of leadership

Supportive of your position

If your member of Congress agrees with your position on the issue, ask them to take the lead. They may have voted on similar legislation, sponsored a bill related to the issue, or otherwise spoken out on the issue.

There's always more a member of Congress can do — and if they don't hear from you, they often won't focus on your top-priority issue.

Action steps

  • Ask the member to initiate a sign-on letter or host a briefing.
  • Ask the member to cosponsor existing legislation, engage with colleagues, and/or make public statements.
  • Ask the member to draft op-eds or sign onto media pieces that you write.
  • Give regular, positive feedback for the member's actions.

Neutral or mixed record on your issue

  • Neutral: Unfamiliar or noncommittal
  • Swing: Voted or made public statement for and against your position

Specific Steps for Advocacy

  • Tell stories to humanize the issue.
  • Make clear, specific asks toward positive action. Ask the member to vote consistently in favor of your position.
  • Research and communicate shared values.
  • Use letters, events, and media to demonstrate community support for the cause.

Against your position

Your member of Congress might have already taken a position that you don't agree with. Your advocacy still matters! Encourage your member of Congress to become less active on the issue, or to avoid pushing for negative legislation.

Action steps

  • Tell stories to humanize the issue.
  • Ask why the member of Congress is taking this position.
  • Urge the member of Congress to remain silent on the issue, or to take neutral actions.
  • Research and communicate shared values.
  • Use letters, events, and media to demonstrate community support for the cause.

Take the next step

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Moving your members of Congress toward positive action takes concerted effort over the long term. FCNL Advocacy Teams can help you make it happen. Advocacy Teams provide training, support, and community to help you become a more effective advocate.

For support on a particular issue, call the FCNL office at 800-630-1330 and ask to be connected to someone working on that issue. We'll be able to help you out.

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