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Meeting With Your Congressional District Office
1) Locate interested AmeriCorps alumni and supporters (AmeriCorps Alums can help provide you with a list of alumni in your area)
  • Announce the creation of your local effort to eliminate taxation of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award: The group can consist of two or more people, and ideally will consist of 3-5 alumni.  YOU DON'T NEED A HUGE GROUP TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON THIS ISSUE. This can be as easy as an email or as sophisticated as a kickoff party. Let alumni in your area know how important it is to be involved in advocacy efforts and how easy it can be. Some members may even discover a newfound love for advocacy and the political process!
2) Schedule your visit
 
  • Find your Representative's District contact information above:
  • Schedule your appointment: This is surprisingly easy to do! Staffers are her to serve you; it is their job to schedule an appointment and work with your group on concerns you may have or ideas you would like to see implemented. Call the office first, and then follow the instructions the staffer gives you.  Just give them a call!

3) Prepare for your visit

  • Go over talking points with members attending the meetingClick here for a list of talking points for supporting H.R. 6407.  Appoint someone to be the delegation lead. Everyone should talk during the meeting, but this individual will be in charge of keeping the group on track during the discussion (i.e. if the discussion starts to wander, this person will attempt to redirect it back to the original purpose).
    • Make sure everyone is on the same page and has a good idea of what the agenda is.
    • It's perfectly fine to have printed sheets of talking points for group members to use during the meeting.
  • Prepare/print out documents and materials to leave with the representative: AmeriCorps Alums recommends you leave the H.R. 6407 one-pager and the Dear Colleague letter with your representative. It is also a good idea to leave your business cards with the staff representative whom you met.

4) Visit with your Representative

  • Tell your story: Make it personal! Explain why you served in AmeriCorps, what kind of work you did, and how the experience impacted you. Speak from the heart about why AmeriCorps is so important to you.  You specifically might want to mention how taxation of the Ed Award impacted you.
  • Stick to your talking points: It's always nice to have a conversation with whomever you're visiting with, and it's definitely encouraged to create a relationship with your representative's office. Just make sure you get your main points across in the meeting.  Remember to make the ask: "Will Representative xxxxx support HR 6407 by becoming a co-sponsor?"
  • Follow up: You may not get an answer right away, and in that case you will need to follow up with the staff person you met with.  Be sure you get a copy of his/her business card.
  • Log your visit and what was discussed: In any case, AmeriCorps Alums wants to know how your meeting went. We have created an online submission form for your visits. Please click the link below to fill out and send in the form. This will help us keep track of our progress on this specific issue http://www.americorpsalums.org/surveys/?id=TACongressionalVisit.  You amy also e-mail your progress to Greg Heinrich at gheinrich@handsonnetwork.org
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