How many times have you just about gotten to the beginning of a Congressional recess, realized you want to run an in-district legislative campaign to influence them when they’re home from Washington, but didn’t do it because you weren’t sure where to begin?

Maybe you need to immediately connect with some key representatives who have the power to move critical legislation but aren’t on the right side of the issue. Maybe you need to do friendly meetings to develop a champion and thank them for doing the right thing. Or maybe you’re trying to build the leadership and agency of your local volunteers who are ready to take action together and want to begin relationships with their elected officials.

After you’ve done your power analysis and figured out which representatives need to hear from your members and settled on a strategy there are two good options for you. You can support your members and train them to: 

  1. Drop into their local representative's office during business hours.
  2. Schedule a visit to the office and get a meeting on their calendar.

In the video of a recent webinar on this topic, we offer our ideas for running a great summer in-district meeting program at scale. The information we cover is accessible to beginners and includes hot tips for experienced grassroots lobbyists. It’s geared towards Congressional meetings - but everything we cover is applicable to the state and local levels too. 

If you are working at the federal level, representatives are in their home district for long periods of time during the months of August, September and October. There are also a few times throughout the rest of the calendar year when they are home for a work period. Get the exact timing and find other district work periods on the legislative calendar for the House and Senate

Watch the full presentation to learn about principles for organizing these meetings as well as answers to questions like:

  • Should we use scheduled meetings or unscheduled drop-in visits?
  • How can we prepare people to increase the impact of the visit? 
  • What can I do to help keep people involved in the campaign for the long-term?

Here are a couple of resources that we mention during the presentation

All of the materials are in this folder that you can add to your Google Drive.

We mention some research in the presentation. If you want a copy of the research  write to us - and let us know what you think of the video.

The webinar presenters were leaders with Team Internet — a network of nearly half a million volunteers who came together to protect Net Neutrality, the foundation of our digital civil rights.

In response to the Trump Administration’s threats to the open internet, Team Internet volunteers held 600 in-district meetings in two months and then organized a day of action with 700 coordinated protests.

These actions led to the passage of legislation in both the Senate and the House and garnered support for Net Neutrality from 70% of incoming first-year members of the current Congress.

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