Stop by Your Congressperson’s Local Office without an Appointment
Why It Works
Your members of Congress maintain local offices throughout your district or state. Putting in an appearance at one of these offices is the single-most effective way to catch your elected official’s attention—much better than calling and much, much better than emailing. The best part: No experience is required, and believe it or not, you don't need an appointment.
How to Do It
Find the best office to visit. Look up your member of Congress to find out which office is closest to you. Make a note of their office hours so you don’t end up wasting a trip.
Pick an issue to focus on. Your visit will be most effective if you focus on just one topic and keep your comments to the point. Pick whichever of our current top priorities feels most important to you.
Bring a flier to leave behind. Click here to download and print out a flier to leave with your lawmaker’s staff to start the process of educating them about the issue you’ve chosen to focus on.
Waltz in there and introduce yourself. Greet the person staffing the front desk and tell him or her your name, where you’re from, and that you’d like to share some thoughts on whatever issue you’ve chosen to focus on. They will probably ask you to fill out a comment card, including your name and address and the reason you stopped by. Try to write legibly and make sure to be friendly and polite—these people have hard jobs. In rare cases, they may offer you the chance to speak with a different staffer about your concerns. If you should be so lucky, just introduce yourself, explain in your own words why you’re concerned about this issue, and what you would like your lawmaker to do about it. Then leave your flyer and thank the staffer for taking the time to talk with you. Ask if you could have his/her email address and phone number so that you can follow up directly in the future.
Take a photo. Before you leave, take a photo of yourself (or if you hate selfies with a passion, take a picture of your elected official’s sign on the door, instead).
Share your photo. Facebook, tweet, or Instagram your photo, explaining that you visited to talk about the issue you chose and tag your elected official’s public profile. Add a hashtag like #DefendOurMonuments, #DirtyBudget, or #StopTrump if space allows (check the talking points for your issue for specific hashtag suggestions).
Follow up. If you did happen to get an email address, send an email to thank the staffer for taking the time to meet with you and reiterate your request in writing. You may wish to link to more info about the issue you focused on, too. Let them know you will be watching closely to see what your lawmaker does. If you’re feeling inspired, you can also request a follow-up meeting with your elected official and start gathering a group of like-minded people to join you. Here’s how to do that.