American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Life After Capitol Hill

Advocacy - AFAP LogoHow to Build Relationships at Home

Your time on Capitol Hill is just the beginning step in your role as an ASHA Advocate! It is critical that you continue to find ways in the coming months to remind your Capitol Hill contacts that you are a year-round resource. Consider the following possibilities for continued involvement.

Write Meeting Thank You E-mails

If you haven't already done so, make sure to thank the staff or member of Congress for the meeting. This is a great opportunity to reiterate the issues you discussed and again ask for their support. If there were questions, concerns, or commitments expressed during the meeting, address them at this time.

Participate in District Events

Call your legislator's district office and ask to be added to the Members e-mail list. This will provide you with information on district activities like constituent coffees, town hall meetings, and other opportunities to talk with your legislator and staff. Most legislators host town hall meetings regularly to learn voters' views and lobby for their support in the polls. If you attend an event, send a note to your staff contact to let them know you were there and are available to explain the community's perspective.

Request an In-District Meeting

Congressional recess periods offer perfect opportunities to meet with your legislators in their home districts and states. Contact the member of Congress district scheduler and submit a request to meet with the policymaker and/or staff at their local office.

Host a Site Visit

Invite the member of Congress or their staff to visit you at your workplace so you can demonstrate the practice implications of the legislation under debate. This first-hand experience is critical in explaining your work and its impact on the community.

Tap into Social Media

Your members of Congress distribute a variety of news information via various electronic mediums. By subscribing to receive this information, you can remain an active advocate. Consider taking the following steps to receive up-to-date information:

  1. "Like" your Member of Congress on Facebook: Many members of Congress now operate their own Facebook pages. Sign up whether you actually like them or not—there's a wealth of information on these sites!
  2. Follow your Member of Congress on Twitter: Members of Congress often post tweets themselves so it's an authentic way to access their latest information.
  3. Use your smart phone: A growing number of legislators have their own "apps" that you can download. These are great resources for news, videos, and even sections where you can write them directly.

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