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Sowing the Seeds of Grassroots:. Contacting Congress. Presented by Sarah Holstine, Legislative Specialist 2011 NARFE Legislative Training Conference. Why Contact Members of Congress?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Sowing the Seeds of Grassroots:Contacting CongressPresented by Sarah Holstine, Legislative Specialist 2011 NARFE Legislative Training Conference

  • Why Contact Members of Congress?Credit: The smallest Senate page and the largest Capitol police officer, 1940. [Senate Historical Office] http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/slideshow/capitol_scenes.jsp?Counter=12

  • Why Contact Members of Congress?Credit: The smallest Senate page and the largest Capitol police officer, 1940. [Senate Historical Office] http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/slideshow/capitol_scenes.jsp?Counter=12

  • Why You Should Contact CongressAll Politics Are LocalOver-estimation of Lobbyists cloutUnder Appreciation of GrassrootsYou Have the NumbersYou Vote

    Credit: James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960) I Want You for the U.S. Army Lithograph, 1917 To Contact Congress!

  • Article One: Congress Can . . .Collect taxesBorrow moneyRegulate commerce with nations and among the statesEstablish a post officeDeclare warRaise and support an armyMake all laws which shall be necessary and proper to execute these powers

  • Congress Structure: Where the Power IsBi-Cameral InstitutionHouse: 435 Voting Members (6 Non-voting)112th Congress: 241 Rep; 192 Dem; (2 Vacancies)Senate: 100 Members 112th Congress: 51 Dem; 2 Indep; 47 RepPolitical Leadership

  • House Political Leadership

    Speaker of the House: John Boehner (OH-8) Majority Leader: Eric Cantor (VA-7) Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy (CA-22)Republican Conference Chair: Jeb Hensarling (TX-5)Republican Conference Vice Chair: Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5)Republican Policy Committee Chair: Tom Price (GA-6)Republican Congressional Campaign Committee Chair: Pete Sessions (TX-32)

    Democratic Leader: Nancy Pelosi (CA-8) Democratic Whip: Steny Hoyer (MD-5)Assistant to the Democratic Leader: James Clyburn (SC-6)Democratic Caucus Chair: John Larson (CT-1)Democratic Caucus Vice-Chair: Xavier Becerra (CA-31)Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: Steve Israel (NY-2)

  • Senate Political Leadership

    Majority Leader and Democratic Conference Chair: Harry Reid (NV)Majority Whip: Dick Durbin (IL)Democratic Policy Committee Chair: Charles Schumer (NY)Democratic Policy Committee Vice Chair: Debbie Stabenow (MI)Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee Chair: Mark Begich (AK)Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair: Patty Murray (WA)

    Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell (KY)Minority Whip: Jon Kyl (AZ)Republican Conference Chair: Lamar Alexander (TN)Republican Policy Committee Chair: John Thune (SD)Republican Conference Vice Chair: John Barrasso (WY)Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair: John Cornyn (TX)

  • Congress StructureBi-Cameral InstitutionHouse: 435 Voting Members (6 Non-voting)112th Congress: 241 Rep; 192 Dem; (2 Vacancies)Senate: 100 Members 112th Congress: 51 Dem; 2 Indep; 47 RepLeadershipCommitteesJurisdictionChairs and Ranking Members

  • Committees: JurisdictionThe House Budget Committee and the Senate Budget Committee are responsible for drafting Congress annual budget plan, monitoring action on the budget for the Federal Government, and has jurisdiction over the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee have jurisdiction over all tax matters, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and some other entitlements. Premium Conversion and GPO/WEP legislation is heard in these committees.The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have jurisdiction over civil service issues, including federal employee and annuitant retirement and health benefits

  • Committees: Chairs & Ranking MembersHouse Budget CommitteeChair: Paul D. Ryan (R-WI-1) Ranking: Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8)Senate Budget CommitteeChair: Kent Conrad (D-ND)Ranking: Jeff Sessions (R-AL) House Ways and Means CommitteeChair: Dave Camp (R-MI-4)Ranking: Sander Levin (D-MI-12)Senate Finance CommitteeChair: Max Baucus (D-MT)Ranking: Orrin Hatch (R-UT)House Oversight and Government ReformChair: Darrell Issa (R-CA-49)Ranking: Elijah Cummings (D-MD-7)Senate Homeland Security and Governmental AffairsChair: Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT)Ranking: Susan Collins (R-ME)

  • How a Bill Becomes a LawLegislation Can Start in Either HouseExcept for Taxes (and Appropriations)

  • How a Bill Becomes a LawLegislation Can Start in Either HouseExcept for Taxation (and Appropriations)House of Representatives is Body of MajoritySenate is Body of Minority

  • Role of Offices and StaffHill vs. District vs. CampaignKey Staff Capitol HillDistrict/State Offices -- Chief of Staff-- District/State Director -- Scheduler-- Caseworker -- Press Secretary-- Outreach -- Legislative Director-- Staff Assistant -- Legislative Assistant-- Intern -- Legislative Correspondent -- Staff Assistant -- Intern

  • Communicating with CongressMain ways to communicateIn PersonPhoneLettersE-MailChanging Nature of Technology and SecurityContact YOUR Member of Congress

  • Congressional Office Record KeepingWhen you make a contact, it is RecordedYour Contacts MatterAre Read, Counted, Etc.Prioritize Your IssuesDont Over Contact

  • General Things to KnowThe LegislationBill NumbersCo-Sponsors

  • The Legislative Action Center

  • General Things to KnowThe LegislationBill NumbersCo-SponsorsCensus statistics

  • Census Data

  • General Things to KnowThe LegislationBill NumbersCo-SponsorsCensus statisticsGeneral RulesBe YourselfBe PoliteBecome a ResourceWork with Staff

  • Scheduling a MeetingHow (Contact Scheduler)Who (will be at meeting)What (is the meeting about)Where (do you want to meet)When (do you want to meet)Take Advantage of RecessesWhy (do you want to meet)Be FlexibleUsing a 3rd PartySource: Senate Sergeant at Arms Charles Higgins turns forward the Ohio Clock for the first Daylight Saving Time, while Senators William Calder (NY), William Saulsbury, Jr. (DE), and Joseph T. Robinson (AR) look on, 1918. [Senate Historical Office] http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/slideshow/capitol_scenes.jsp?Counter=4

  • Before Your MeetingDo Your ResearchReview and Organize Arguments for and against our legislationPrevious Experiences with LegislatorHave they co-sponsored our Bills? What committees is (s)he on?The Pre-Meeting MeetingWho is going and Who is Speaking on What IssuesWhat is the purpose of the meeting? What are your goals?What Issues/Legislation will be Discussed (No more than 3)Prepare Materials for Legislator (Have your own copy)NARFEs Legislative ProgramTalking Points & Issue Papers from NARFE website

  • The MeetingBe on Time Confirm Appointment BeforehandBe Positive and HonestIntroductionsEducate Members and Staff with Basic FactsAvoid abbreviations and/or jargonDiscuss the fundamentals of our legislationRelate personal stories

  • Have a Goal and Get a CommitmentCo-Sponsor Legislation or Not Support ProposalTalk to Their ColleaguesUrge Chairmen to set a hearingStay on TopicIt is okay to say I Dont KnowLeave Fact SheetsThe Meeting (Cont.)

  • Meeting Follow-UpSend a Thank-YouSend Promised InformationFollow-up (politely) on Their CommitmentOffer Additional Information/Resources

  • Where Else to Meet Your MemberTown Hall MeetingsCommunity EventsFundraisersChance Occurrences

  • Meeting with StaffAlways Take the OpportunityOften Know More Then MembersProvides Immediate IN in the OfficeOften Go On to Bigger and Better Things(Like Working for NARFE)Know Which Staffers Work on Our Issues

  • Phone CallsCapitol Switchboard: 1-866-220-0044Be PoliteIndividual Office Numbers:Members websitesNARFE Legislative Action CenterNARFE Congressional DirectoryPhone Bookhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TexasRichardson_telephoneExchangeOperator.jpg

  • Action CallsKeep message simple, clear and conciseI am a resident and voter of Centerville, Ohio and am calling to urge Congressman Turner to oppose any proposals to make additional cuts to the earned federal civilian retirement and health benefits of federal workers and retirees, to freeze federal pay or to reduce the federal work force. Federal workers, including those at Wright-Patt Air Force Base, protect Americas heartbeat and keep our nation strong.Where Sheer Numbers Matter

  • Question CallsAsk to Speak with Appropriate Staff MemberEngage in Polite ConversationAsk QuestionsWhy isnt Member Co-Sponsoring How is the Member Voting and Why

  • LettersIf you take the time to WRITE;You will take the time to VOTE

  • Letters: ContentTry to Cover One Issue; Two at the MostState Purpose and Goal in First ParagraphUse Bill Numbers and Proper NameBe PoliteIf you cant sign your name to it, dont write itRemember the Line Between Congressional Work and Campaign WorkPersonalize and Hand-Write (if possible)Send Form Letter, Expect Form LetterInclude Your Contact Information on Letter

  • The Honorable Frank Wolf241 Cannon House Office BuildingUnited States House of RepresentativesWashington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Frank Wolf13873 Park Center RoadSuite 130Herndon, VA 20171

    Dear Representative Wolf:The Honorable Mark WarnerB40C Dirksen Senate Office BuildingUnited States SenateWashington, DC 20510

    The Honorable Mark Warner101 W. Main StreetSuite 4900Norfolk, VA 23510

    Dear Senator Warner: Letters: Format

  • Mail to District OfficeAddress available on:Members websiteNARFEs Legislative Action CenterNARFEs Congressional DirectoryMail to Your Own LawmakersEvery Lawmaker MattersMailing Instructions

  • E-MailWrite as You Would a