Directions, Hours & Search
208 W 13 St
New York, NY 10011

Building Hours

Mon-Sat
9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sun
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

LOBBYING YOUR REPRESENTATIVE

Meeting your representatives face-to-face requires a little effort, but it goes a long way in demonstrating the impact that policy decisions have on constituents.

Setting the Meeting

Your legislator’s office is open to the public. As a constituent, you can take advantage of this by calling a local office and requesting an in-person meeting.

  • Be prepared to meet with lawmakers or their staff. Often, you may only have the option to meet with staff, so don’t pass up the opportunity.
  • Plan to dedicate about two hours to planning your meeting.
  • For group meetings, assign meeting roles. For example, one person can lead the discussion, another can take notes and someone can keep track of items on your agenda.
  • Have a clear idea of what you’re going to say. You may only get a few minutes to present your points clearly.
  • Practice your elevator pitch where you summarize key points in three minutes or fewer.
  • Prepare relevant questions ahead of time.

Tips During the Meeting

Your goal is to build a relationship with lawmakers and their staff, such that they are willing to listen to your views on an issue.

  • Don’t be late. Showing up late may guarantee that your issues aren’t considered since lawmakers likely won’t wait around for you.
  • Figure out whether the lawmaker has taken a stance on one of your key issues before, and if they have any areas of interest or concern.
  • Be polite and respectful to keep a cordial relationship. You don’t want to burn bridges unnecessarily, even if you disagree with a lawmaker’s stance on an issue.
  • Don’t lie or make up information. Use your story and your credibility to get your point across.
  • Don’t do all the talking. Know when to be a good listener and write down any commitments that are made during the meeting.

Follow-up After Your Meeting

You did it! Now it’s time to follow up with the person or people you met so they know you’re serious about next steps.

  • Take a minute to debrief by discussing with your group how you think the meeting went and what can be done moving forward.
  • Send a note or email to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Reiterate any commitments that were made during your conversation and share any positive feedback.
  • Provide any answers to questions that you were asked during the meeting.
  • Remember that persistence pays off. Be willing to meet again to share any updates since your last meeting. Expand your coalition to be as broad and as deep as you can!
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