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How to Utilize Congress’ August Recess to Advance Your Policy Goals

July 25, 2014
Advocacy, public policy, and government relations efforts should not be confined to within the Beltway. With the August Congressional recess around the corner, now is the time to think about how you are going to engage your elected officials while they are home. August recess is a terrific time to connect with elected officials: they take the month off from Washington, not only to avoid the steamy climate of swampy Washington, D.C., but to meet with constituents in their communities and find out what is on the minds of the people they represent. Especially since this is an election year, Members of Congress are particularly focused on spending time with voters to hear their concerns, ideas, commendations, and complaints. It is your Constitutional right to petition Congress for redress of grievances and with elected officials at home for the next month, you have a convenient opportunity to deliver your requests directly to those in a position to take action.

Between August 1st and September 7th, take a few minutes to reach out to your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators and tell them the specific policy issues you want them to focus on when they return to Washington in September. Ways you can communicate and connect with your Congressional delegation include:    

  • Attend a town hall meeting. Check your Representative's and Senators' websites or your local newspaper for dates and times of events.
  • Request a meeting with your elected officials in the district/in the state. Meeting in the state or district provides a cost- and time-effective way for you to get your message across to the office without having to travel to Washington, D.C.
  • Invite your elected officials to visit your business/hospital/manufacturing facility/etc. This is a great way to show Members what you do on a day-to-day basis, how you contribute to the local community and economy, and the challenges you face.
  • Reach out via social media. Many Members of Congress are very active on Twitter and Facebook and these social media tools provide additional avenues for you to thank your Members for actions or votes they recently undertook and/or remind them about priorities you have already brought to their attention. And best of all, social media is quick and easy!

For tips on communicating effectively with your Members of Congress, see our past blog post on this subject. If you are not sure who represents you, these websites make it easy to find your elected officials for your communityand state.

For more tips and support with respect to how to effectively utilize the Congressional recess and communicate with Members of Congress to advance your policy goals, please contact the District Policy Group.