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Make It Personal During Congressional Recess

by Published On: Aug 06, 2012

As August approaches, many members of Congress will be returning to their home states for recess. This means that it’s the perfect time for LeadingAge members to set up meetings or visits with their representative.

This year, LeadingAge is making it easy for members to stay active in supporting the most crucial issues during the recess with an issues-based campaign to remind legislators of what’s important to your organization and the people you serve.

Each week, we will post a Contact Congress letter about a particular issue. Your job will be to click the links in LeadingAge This Week to email your legislators.

How to Break Through the Clutter

But to break through the clutter of the hundreds of emails from constituents every day, we encourage you to tailor the letter with your own experiences.  Here’s how:

  • Change the opening sentence. Change our standard opening letter from “As a provider of high-quality aging services and a member of LeadingAge...” to something that reflects you are from the Congressman’s district and care about the issue.

  • Offer a personal story. Talk about a special older adult in your community, the way in which your organization accesses a certain program, or a memory from a congressional visit.

  • Be sure to say you are a constituent. Most online email services require you to provide your mailing address, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it in the body of your email. If you have ever hosted the member of Congress at your organization or met him/her at an event, be sure to mention it.

  • Demonstrate the impact of the legislation in question. If there is a specific bill that is being targeted, add a face to your organization by specifying the number of residents that will be affected by changes to the bill. If funding to a certain program is being cut, illustrate the affects of the cuts by stating the number of residents who depend on that program. Include state-specific and community-specific data if it is available.

  • Follow with a phone call. While letters are a good way to express concern around an issue, phone calls and in-person meetings are usually held in higher regard.

Update Us So we Can Follow Up

If you hear back from the Congressman, we’d love to know. We follow up on all correspondence that our members receive from the legislators to reinforce our link to you.


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