Advocacy

Meet with your legislators in person

Communicating directly with your elected officials is an important way to make your voice heard. Whether your meeting takes place in your hometown or in Washington, D.C., here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your visit goes smoothly.

Step 1: Identify your members of Congress

Each person in the U.S. is represented by one representative and two senators. You can find out who represents you on the House and Senate websites.

Step 2: Schedule a meeting

Members of Congress split their time between their home districts and Washington, D.C. They may be available to meet with constituents in either office, depending on whether Congress is in session. Contact information for each official is available online. You also can email the ASBMB public affairs staff to help set up a meeting.

Step 3: Do some research, practice and prepare for your meeting

Before you meet, make sure you’ve done your homework. Here are some general talking points about federal agency funding and other science-related pieces of legislation.

How does your state and district benefit from biomedical research? The ASBMB public affairs staff can provide stats about the benefits of research to your local community.

Also, review our tips for communicating with Congress.

Step 4: Attend the meeting

Put your research and preparation into practice, and then, as the meeting concludes, leave your member of Congress with some information about the importance of research. Here are some fliers you can print out:

Contact the ASBMB public affairs staff for more leave-behind materials or advice on how best to use them.

Step 5: Follow up with the office

Write a note thanking the official and/or staff members for meeting with you.

Don’t have time to meet? Write or call

If you don’t have time to meet with your officials in person, contact them using email, a handwritten letter or the phone.

Other toolkit topics

Call your legislator

How to find your legislator's number, and what to say.

Do’s and don’ts for communicating with legislators

Dos and donts for communicating with legislators

Helpful tips to make your meetings effective.

Prepare a lab tour for your legislators

Hosting a member of Congress at your institution is an excellent way to demonstrate the importance of federal funding for scientific research.

Write a letter to the editor

A letter to the editor of your local newspaper can be very effective at increasing public awareness of an issue important to your community.

Write a letter to your legislator

A letter or email is the most popular choice of communication with a congressional office.