Plan a Site Visit
Congressional recesses give LSA members a special opportunity to advocate for people in need. When representatives and senators are scheduled to return from Washington, invite them to walk through program facilities, learn about model programs, and meet the people you serve. This is an important way to educate legislators about the challenges you face, and to thank them for help they may have given you in the past.
Elected officials appreciate the chance to meet people LSA members serve and to hear first-hand how the policies they are working on are impacting people's lives.
Visits with elected officials are easy. Politicians are interested in your work and schooled in meeting and learning from new people. Through this visit you will form a valuable relationship or strengthen an existing one. And you will provide fresh real-world information to an important policy-maker, which can make a vast difference.
To arrange a visit with your Representative in the House, click here to find contact information. To arrange a visit with your Senator, Click here to find contact information.
Tips for the visit:
- Remember that elected officials appreciate good press coverage back home, so contact the local media to let them know about the visit, and let the elected official know you have notified the press.
- Prepare a folder of written information about your organization and the program site.
- Make sure the elected official comes in contact with as many residents, guests, or others as possible. They will be looking for anecdotes about the impact of your work on people's lives. You may want to invite them for a meal, or to participate in a program activity.
- Ask knowledgeable program staff to participate in the visit. Invite staff to make a portion of the presentation as you walk through the facility.
- Consider asking selected board members or key volunteers to join you, especially if they know the elected official or can share a special story or perspective on your program.
- If you have specific concerns about the impact of public policy on your work, provide some focus to those concerns in your conversation.
- Remember also to share with the elected official those areas where your partnership with government is working. If this elected official has been helpful, offer special thanks.
- Mention that your SMO is part of a national network, Lutheran Services in America, with almost $9.5 billion in service delivery to almost 6 million people in all 50 states, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.
- Site visits to your program facilities are just as important for your representatives in the state legislature, your governor, and your local elected officials. Plan a separate visit for each of them.
Please notify the LSA Office of your visit. That will enable us to better coordinate our advocacy efforts here in Washington. E-mail Robert Francis or call him at 202-499-5832.