The ALS Association

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Progress

Helpful Hints for Advocates

Tips for when you write your Member of Congress

  • State your purpose for writing the letter in the first paragraph.
  • If the subject of the letter involves specific legislation, identify the bill number (use the following prefixes, House bills: H.R. and Senate bills: S.)
  • Be courteous, to the point, and include key information using examples to support your position.
  • Address only one issue in each letter; and, if possible keep to one page.

Tips for a personal visit with your Member of Congress

  • Plan your visit carefully by determining which Members you want to meet with and why.
  • Make an appointment with the Member's scheduler or appointment secretary. Be sure to explain the purpose of the meeting and whom you represent.
  • Be both punctual and patient. Also, be flexible because Members of Congress have very busy schedules. You should be willing to meet with someone on the Member's staff if the Member is not available.
  • Be prepared to discuss your issue in detail using specific examples of why the issue is important. Also, bring materials that you can leave behind with the person you meet with so they will have something to refer to in the future.
  • Do not be afraid to ask the Member their position on the issue, as well as for a commitment to help you. Also, you should provide the person you meet with how the issue impacts voters in the Member's district.
  • Be responsive during the meeting by asking questions and answering questions from the Member. Also, be responsive after the meeting by writing thank you notes. Be sure to list the points discussed in the meeting in the thank you notes.
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