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Feb 05 2018 | 

Author: Kate | 

The National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference is just around the corner and CAFB wants to help make the most of your time on the Hill. CAFB’s Senior Policy Associate Rachel Tucker and Food for People’s Community Education & Outreach Coordinator Heidi McHugh offered some tips and tricks to rock this year’s Lobby Day.

1. RSVP for Senate meetings, ASAP!

Spots are running out for Senate meetings with Senator Feinstein & Harris from 9:30-10:30 AM on the 27. Email Rachel Tucker to reserve your place.

2. Register for FRAC and Feeding America’s “Lobbying 101” webinar.

This webinar on Tuesday, February 6 1:00 PM EST will cover just about everything you will need to know for your visit- from what to bring to how to make your pitch. Register here.

3. Schedule your visits early!

FRAC and Feeding America have an  easy guide to help you in scheduling and preparing for your visits. The CAFB policy team created an email template that can be used to secure meetings. Just enter your information and you are ready to go.

4. Making the most out of your time.

Always try to schedule a meeting with your Member of Congress personally. If that’s not possible, then a meeting with a staff member is still highly valuable. Try to meet with as many of your Members as possible!

5. Prep your pitch and meeting strategy.

Carry a few important stats specific to your agency and/or county in your brain. Some meetings may be very brief and you may only get the chance to say a few things, especially if you are meeting with a group of advocates within the same district.  If you do meet with a group, decide who will talk about what before the meeting.

6. Leave time for travel.

Make sure to allow travel time to get between meetings. Keep security lines in mind when creating a meeting schedule. Also, if you’re not sure where to go, don’t be afraid ask!

7. If you can, use the Tunnels to skip the line.

There is a tunnel system below the Capitol that will help you move between buildings quickly and avoid security. Note: you cannot travel to the Capitol underground without a Member/ Aide with you.

8. Dress to impress.

Be sure to make a good first impression by sticking to a business professional attire. Also, DC weather can be unpredictable so throw an umbrella in your bag.

9. All conference materials will be available online.

Unless you really love taking notes, there is no need to write down information on slides or other reproducible materials.

10. Choose comfort over style in the footwear department.

Do not sacrifice comfort for fashion on Hill day. You will be on the move all day and possibly moving very quickly.

11. Make time for you.

Don’t forget to schedule in some time to grab a bite to eat, get some coffee, or recharge your phone at a local café.

12. Lastly, remember, legislators are people too!

It can be nerve wrecking to meet with Members for the first time but keep in mind; they are regular people too. And they work for us!

(Photo of Capitol Hill by Elliot P./Flickr Creative Commons)