05 Nov The Do’s and Don’ts of Meetings with Congressional staffers
As advocates, our levels of experience vary in terms of meeting with legislators and their staffers; however, we all can build relationships with decision-makers and tell the important stories of health centers in our communities. This week, as you prepare for our Unity for Community Health Day, you may be contemplating what to say or do once you arrive at your district office. Let’s imagine it.
You are arriving at Senator/Representative X’s office, with your talking points and leave behind materials in hand. Don’t forget those! Take a deep breath. The message that you are carrying on behalf of your health center community is one of great importance. As you go in, have a designated person to introduce the group and who you all represent. Make sure you and your fellow advocates have planned who will speak and how you will ask for long-term funding of community health centers. Have a relaxed conversation about your health center(s), and why they deserve this support. In this conversation be sure to tell the staffer that you are grateful that there is bipartisan support in Congress for health centers and that you are counting on their boss to get the long-term funding passed. Remind them that health centers are small businesses who provide essential care to their constituents. Leave ample time for the staffers to ask questions and learn more about health centers. Near the end of the meeting, be sure to exchange relevant contact information with staffers, hand over your leave behind materials, and maybe even take a picture for social media! Finally, be sure to thank the staffers for their time and share your experience with NACHC.
Good luck, we’ll see you all November 12th!
Helpful source: Tips for a Successful Meeting with Elected Officials.