Planning Your Congressional Meeting
Thank you for doing your part for the nation's rental housing industry by meeting with your member(s) of Congress.
We recommend starting out with a meeting request letter, of which a sample letter is shown below. For meetings Washington D.C., send your meeting request letter to the D.C. office. For In-District meetings, send the meeting request letter to the legislator's district office. Materials about industry issues to discuss when meeting with your member(s) of Congress are part of this toolkit and additional information such as data and the economic impact of the rental housing industry can be found at weareapartments.org.
How to Schedule Your Meeting
Contact your elected official's office in writing, by email or via fax as soon as possible. Congressional offices are flooded with emails and letters so it is important to get your meeting request to the correct individual. General office e-mails can be found on your legislator's offical Congressional website. Address the request to the scheduler, be sure to include your name, organization, meeting date requested, the issues you wish to discuss, and your contact information (see sample meeting request letter below). Once the request has been made, follow up with a phone call and/or email to the scheduler three days later. The below letter can be used for meeting requests both in Washington D.C. or in your home District.
Senate Sample Meeting Request Letter
Tracking Your Meetings
If you are not in charge of coordinating meetings on the Hill, please contact the NAA-affiliated association in your area for meeting dates and times. After a meeting has been secured, please use the Meeting Reporting Log (member login required). Please submit your scheduled meetings no later than Friday, March 6. Contact Jim Wilson if you have any questions about the scheduling of your meetings or other logistics. And don't forget to bring a camera and send your photos to NAA's Government Affairs team!
Tips on a Successful Meeting with Your Elected Official
If you are attending Advocate, NAA's largest single-day grassroots event, additional information is made available when registration opens. Registrants can look forward to helpful information such as a list current schedulers by office, a How-To Webinar, and the support of NAA's Manager of Grassroots. In the meantime, check out the NAA Advocacy365 mobile app for all your advocacy needs.
Once your meeting is scheduled with your elected official, here are some tips to remember to make the meeting a success:
- Be on time or early. Time is a precious commodity to your member of Congress.
- Be succinct. Often times, he or she may only have 10 to 15 minutes to speak with you.
- Be prepared. Be well informed. Be well organized.
- Respect the Congress member's position. Understand his or her viewpoint.
- Leave the Issue Fact Sheet(s) as a summary of your main points after the meeting is over.
- Follow up with the appropriate staff and thank him or her for their time. (see sample meeting thank you and follow up letter below)
Often, a member of Congress' schedule will change throughout the day through no fault of yours. If this happens, more than likely, you will meet with a staff member of the district office. Treat the meeting as if you are meeting with the member of Congress.
Sample Thank You Letter and Follow Up:
< Name of Staffer>
The Honorable <insert name>
United States House of Representatives (OR United States Senate)
District Office Street Address
District Office City, State and ZIP Code
Thank you for taking the time to meet with <me / your affiliate> on <enter date> in your <Washington D.C/district> office (other other location). I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss issues affecting the apartment housing industry.
We would be grateful for your support on these issues.
Thank you again for the opportunity to meet with you. I am happy to keep your office informed on the issues impacting the apartment industry. Please contact me via <enter e-mail address> or <enter telephone number> if you need further information. I look forward to speaking with you again.