A personal visit with your Representative or Senator, both at home or in Harrisburg, can be exciting and rewarding, as well as anxiety producing. The following are some steps and tips to make such a visit most effective and to make the best use of time—yours and your legislator’s.
Before Your Visit:
1. Make an appointment:
a. By letter or by phone, usually through the Harrisburg Capitol office.
b. Confirm appointment by phone or e-mail.
c. Appointments with legislative aides are also valuable.
2. Get to know your legislator: You may want to know about…
a. General extent of the district.
b. Committee assignments.
c. Number of terms served.
d. Professional background.
e. Voting record on issues of your interest. While LAMPa does not keep legislative scorecards, we may be able to help with this.
f. Views stated publicly on issues of your interest. Most of this information can be found on the General Assembly Webpage or the member’s individual homepage. It’s also okay to ask some of these questions of the staff during your meeting or while you wait – as long as you have checked at least these two sources first.
3. Define the objective of your visit:
a. Is your objective to get acquainted and express general views or is it to discuss a specific issue or issues? Either is acceptable.
b. Limit the number of issues to be discussed.
c. Brief yourself on the facts surrounding the issue and your opinion. Ask LAMPa about any questions you may have a few days in advance. You can do this via e-mail or over the phone.
d. Briefly outline your comments/prepare written summary.
Virtual Visits – Now is just as imperative as ever that constituents continue to communicate to their lawmakers their in-district experiences, especially in regards to the current public health and economic challenges. With physical distancing measures still encouraged, the newest ELCA Advocacy resource guides constituents through conducting virtual visits with local, state, and federal lawmakers. View the “Virtual Visits” resource.