How to Guarantee a Successful Meeting with Legislators

Be on time, flexible and friendly: Arrive early and be willing to wait. Delayed appointments can be very beneficial if they give you time to get to know the Member's staff. Meeting with staff can be as productive as seeing the Member personally. Flexibility is important because Members' schedules get juggled at a moment's notice. You may meet with a Member in the chamber lobby, walk with him or her to the Capitol for a vote, or may even meet with a staff person instead. Congressional offices are friendly places and are open to meeting with visitors from the state or district they represent.

Ask for support: Your Representative, Senator or their staff should be able to give you an indication of the member’s level of support for the community college priorities. It is appropriate for you to ask their position.

Ask about your member’s priorities: As with any good relationship it is important to have give and take. So ask your member what his or her priorities are - it is an excellent opportunity to find our more about them and their agenda. It also can be an opportunity to work together on additional issues.

Be positive, friendly and brief!: Stick to the issues, facts and don't outstay your welcome. Congressional offices are friendly places, but they are also places of intensive activity.

ACCT: Remind members and staff that ACCT is headquartered in Washington and is available and always willing to provide information on community college issues.

Photo Op: Ask to take a photograph with your legislator so that your public information officer at you college can send a news release and picture to your local newspaper for publicity. This helps communicate to your community that you are actively working on their behalf.

Get Business Cards: Ask for business cards of any staff members you talk to for easy reference when writing your thank you letter. Remember to leave your business card or college information when you are visiting their office.