Establishing Relationships with Lawmakers
If you have not met your lawmaker or his/her staff, you should designate your first meeting as a get-acquainted occasion. Some opportunities include:
- Congressional visits. Contact your lawmaker’s Washington, D.C., or district office to schedule a personal meeting. Visiting with your elected official in his or her home office is an excellent, yet often overlooked, opportunity to establish a relationship. If a lawmaker is unavailable, you should schedule a meeting in his or her home office with district staff or in the Washington, D.C. office with staff. Here are some helpful hints for a congressional visit.
- School visits. Hosting a site visit to your school allows lawmakers and/or his/her staff to meet your faculty, staff and students and to see firsthand the ongoing school improvement work you are engaged in both internally as well as externally.
- Town hall meetings. Attend a town hall meeting held by your lawmaker—usually held during Congressional recess periods—and introduce yourself as a local constituent and educator to your lawmaker and his/her staff.
- Civic activities. Public or programmatic events in which you are involved—such as an open house, an award ceremony or sporting event—are great ways to get acquainted with your lawmaker and/or your lawmaker’s district staff by inviting them to attend.
- State affiliates. You may have opportunities to meet your lawmakers through your state association.
- Meet-and-Greet Receptions. Hosting a meet-and-greet reception is a good way for groups of constituents to meet and chat with lawmakers one-on-one.