Tips for Planning An In-District Advocacy Meeting
Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to speak to over 50 student leaders at the UNA-USA Global Engagement Summit. It was a surreal experience, especially since just one day prior, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, spoke only a few steps away in the General Assembly Hall. During his remarks, Mr. Guterres highlighted the important role that young people play in grassroots activism and how today’s youth are playing a larger role in global advocacy and change-making.
When I addressed our chapter leaders, I was able to similarly empower them to take action by addressing one of the most important duties that UNA-USA members have: Advocating to our Members of Congress for full U.S. funding to the United Nations. As a UNA-USA chapter leader myself, I understand that advocacy is one of the most essential steps that we can take toward change-making. During my presentation, I reviewed the process required to of set up an in-district meeting with members of Congress and explained why meeting face-to-face with lawmakers is so critical for our cause.
Now, I want to take that message and share it with all of you! Here are the top five most important things you should know as you plan an in-district meeting with your member of Congress:
- Walk the Walk – Be sure to conduct preliminary research on your Members of Congress. By doing so, you may realize that they are already champions of the issue for which you’re advocating! You can find more information about your Members of Congress, including their voting record, by clicking here. To reach your Members of Congress, be sure to click here to find your Senator or here to find your Representative.
- Talk the Talk – Everyone in your group should be prepared with relevant materials and talking points that outlines our core ask: Full U.S. funding to the United Nations. You can find more information about our talking points by clicking here.
- Be confident! If you aren’t the best public speaker, that’s okay! What is important to remember is that your Member of Congress has opened their doors to you and wants to hear what you have to say. Focus on your talking points and be confident in your cause!
- End on the Right Foot – Before you are ending the meeting, you might want to ask a staff member of the office if it is okay for you and your team to take a picture with the Member of Congress. Remember to take the business cards of the office staff and send them a thank you email after the meeting takes place!
- Post About It – Be sure to share your experience on your personal and chapter social media handles. It’s important that you tag the Member of Congress you met with and @UNAUSA to garner additional digital attention. Lastly, be sure to tag your photos with our official hashtag, #USAforUN.
For additional advocacy resources, please visit the UNA-USA website: https://unausa.org/advocacy-resources/
If you are interested in learning more about how you can meet with your Member of Congress this upcoming Spring, be sure to tune in to our upcoming Advocacy Webinar taking place on March 13, 2019 at 8 p.m. EST. You can find more information by clicking here.
For any additional advocacy related questions, please contact UNA-USA Youth Engagement and Advocacy Coordinator – Marco Sanchez: firstname.lastname@example.org