Capitol Conference is just weeks away and now’s the time to start making your congressional appointments! As a reminder, it is the responsibility of each chapter's delegation to make their own appointments for their lobbying visits. Congressional appointments should be made for the afternoons of Tuesday, February 23, and Wednesday, February 24, between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. NAHU recommends that one member of each chapter's Capitol Conference delegation be assigned the responsibility for coordinating all of the delegation's appointments. Once you or your chapter has made your congressional appointments, please go here and enter in your appointment details so that NAHU can keep track of the visits our members will be conducting while at the conference. To help prepare the office for your visit, we recommend sending them our federal priorities document, which outlines the major legislative issues for which we are advocating.
A few things to keep in mind when preparing for your visits:
- Limit the number of members attending each appointment to 3-6 people. Congressional offices, particularly on the House side, are very small. Too many people at a meeting can overwhelm the office and bury your message.
- Try to make sure at least one of the members attending each visit on the House side either lives or works in the member's district.
- When building your teams for the congressional visits, assign each member of the team a job. One person should be the visit's discussion leader, to make sure that the group stays on message. Another should take detailed notes at the meeting, both for your chapter's information and also for the NAHU visit debriefing form. NAHU uses the debriefing forms you submit from these visits extensively throughout the year when following up with these offices and the more information we have about your visits the better. Finally, one person should be assigned to follow-up contact. This includes sending the member and any staff a thank you note for the visit and also making sure the member receives any materials or information promised during the meeting and maintaining appropriate follow-up contact with NAHU staff.
- It's crucial that you evaluate your state's congressional delegation and identify any key members of Congress. Examples include members of either party's leadership team and members of committees particularly relevant to NAHU's agenda. On the House side, these are the committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce and Education and Labor. In the Senate, the key committees are Finance and Health, Labor, Education and Pensions. Make sure you have members especially well-versed in NAHU's legislative agenda assigned to the meetings with these leaders and their staff. You can also invite a NAHU staff lobbyist to accompany you on these lobbying appointments for additional impact.
Finally, if you need any assistance making your hill appointments, please contact Dan Samson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 595-3678.