Voice Your Values: Meet with Members of Congress

Take your advocacy to the next level by scheduling, planning for and conducting an in-person meeting with your members of Congress.

 

Lead the way! Share with your members of Congress your passion and support for people who are most vulnerable across our world.

 

You have embodied the mantra "I am the Cause. I am the Solution" in your efforts on campus, and you're always looking for more opportunities to make an impact and lead the way to positive change in our world. Changing policies that address the systems and structures of global poverty, violence and injustice is a vital step in being the solution yourself and making it easier for your entire campus community and our nation to be part of the solution.

Now is a crucial time to raise our collective voices as part of a national movement of university students and staff to make it known that US constituents want to help advance an end to forced displacement and global hunger.

 

So, how does this work? 

 

Keep reading to learn who, what, where, when, why and exactly how to take action in this way!

 

WHO: 

 

  • YOU: We invite CRS Student Ambassadors and Advisors on each campus to organize at least one district visit this academic year in February, March, or April in preparation for SALT 2020. Exercise your leadership skills by organizing a group of advocates from your university community to collectively represent your entire university institution. Regardless of where everyone is from originally, you'll be discussing the issues as a university community, and therefore, will be meeting with the Senators and Representatives of the state and district in which your university is located.

 

 

WHY: 

 

  • RESEARCH SHOWS that conducting Congressional visits is the most influential and impactful advocacy action. Why? We want to build relationships with staff and legislators, and visits allow space to get to know one another and have conversations about the issues you care about.  It takes time to organize a visit, so staff and members of Congress know you really care about the topics you're planning to discuss.

 

WHAT:

 

  • CONVERSATIONS: Follow the steps and tips below to schedule a meeting with one of your Senators or with your Representative. You can start by choosing just one member of Congress to meet with or you can schedule separate meetings with all three. Your meetings are an opportunity to voice your values and share with your elected officials why addressing global hunger and forced displacement is important to you. Remember, a legislator's job is to represent you as their constituents, so they are looking forward to hearing what you think and what you're already doing on campus!  These meetings are very collaborative in nature, as you'll look to build relationships with staff, find common ground and seek ways to work together to take our U.S. policies to the next level of support for vulnerable populations around the world.  

 

  • WHAT'S THE TOPIC? Good question! We are always focused on legislation that advances our I am Global Hunger and I am Migration campaigns.
    • During Spring 2020, we will be working on exciting, new, bipartisan legislation called the Global Child Thrive Act, which directs the administration to integrate Early Childhood Development activities into international child-focused programs, thereby improving the lives of vulnerable children.
      • This bill was introduced in the House as H.R. 4864 by Reps. Castro (D-TX) and Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and in the Senate as S. 2715 by Sens. Blunt (R-MO) and Coons (D-DE).
      • Please review the Backgrounder and Talking Points about this legislation and see how it's connected to I am Migration and I am Global Hunger.
      • Complete this form when you have a meeting scheduled and confirmed so that CRS staff can share relevant information to support you in your visit.

 

WHERE:

 

  • IN-DISTRICT: Your members of the U.S. Congress have offices across their home state (Senate) and in their district (House), so you can meet with them more easily for aptly named in-district visits. Your Representative will likely have an office close to your campus because they only represent a small geographic region of your state. Your Senators will have offices in your state capitol as well as other regional offices. You can find the office address for each member of Congress by visiting their websites.
  • CAPITOL HILL: All three of your Senators and Representatives have offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Members of your campus may have visted them during our CRS SALT Summit in July 2018, and all of our CRS SALT Summit 2020 participants will head there next summer! If you happen to be traveling to Washington, DC, feel free to arrange meetings with any of your members of Congress in their Capitol Hill offices. Some campuses host spring break service, immersion or other types of trips to Washington, DC. CRS Staff would love to help prepare you for an advocacy meeting as part of a larger Washington, DC visit. Email danielle.roberts@crs.org to discuss further.

 

WHEN: 

 

  • FEBRUARY, MARCH or APRIL: To unify the voices of our 100+ campus partners, we'd love to see everyone make these Congressional visits in the spring in preparation for SALT 2020. 

 

HOW:

 

These PDFs will take you through the preparation process, step-by-step. Be sure to fill out the corresponding forms so we can support you with specific information for your member of Congress ahead of your meetings and so CRS Staff can follow up on your visits with offices in DC.

 

 

  • FORM: TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING MEETING. Once you have a meeting scheduled, please let us know by filling out this quick form so that we can provide you with the necessary details, support you throughout the process and cheer you on!
  • TOPIC: You'll need to prepare for what to say and what to ask for! To make your visit the most impactful, we'll send you updated details when you fill out the above form. Spring 2020 visits will be focused on the Global Child Thrive Act (H.R. 4864 in the House and S. 2715 in the Senate), directing the administration to integrate Early Childhood Development activities into international child-focused programs, thereby improving the lives of vulnerable children. [View Backgrounder and Talking Points.]

 

 

  • FORM: REPORT ON YOUR ADVOCACY VISIT. Once you complete your advocacy visit, please let us know how it went so we can help you to follow up with your member of Congress and celebrate your success!