1. Advocacy Resource

The Importance of Building Relationships with Congress


Now that you’ve met with your congressional office and advocated, what can you do next? As a peacebuilding lobbyist, FCNL’s Theo Sitther has plenty of experience building relationships with politicians and their staff.

You might think of lobbyists schmoozing or bullying, hoping to strong-arm in the policies they want. But Theo has found a much more effective route in espousing Quaker principles to advocate for peace on Capitol Hill.

Theo's Advocacy Tip

Building a relationship with your members of Congress is the best way to get them to do the right thing.

“Build a long term, respectful and sustained relationship with your members of Congress. It is the best way to get them to do the right thing. Even if you disagree with them on most issues, the value of building a relationship with their office cannot be overstated.”

The best way to build a mutually beneficial relationship with the offices of senators and representatives, according to Theo, is to think in the long-term. Working with and earning the trust of politicians requires patience, integrity, and understanding, and even in a sustained relationship, things may not go the way you want them to go. But by thinking in the long-term, being able to compromise, and valuing the connections you have on Capitol Hill, you’ll find your work paying off.

More resources
Advocacy Resource Help! My Representatives Never Agree with Me 

Why and how to communicate with your members of Congress

It can be frustrating when your members of Congress disagree with you on many or even most issues. But with persistence, organizing, and strategy, you can move your members of Congress toward peace and justice.

Advocacy Resource Help! My Representatives Are Great. What Now? 

Why and how to communicate with your members of Congress

Your work isn't over on Election Day. While your members of Congress might agree with you, are they leaders on issues you care about, or are they sitting on the sidelines? Work with your members of Congress to advance peace and justice.