The key to success in changing government policies and funding is through grassroots advocacy.
During Congressional recesses, most Members of Congress will be in their home district or state. As a constituent, whose opinion matters, this is a great opportunity to contact your Senators or Representatives at town hall meetings, events or schedule an appointment with them in their local office to discuss the importance of the Arthritis Prevention, Control & Cure Act and encourage them to cosponsor this historic legislation. We encourage you to contact your senator or representative while
they are in the state.
We've provided some guidance on setting up a meeting, meeting with your legislator, and follow-up tips below.
Setting Up a Meeting
1. First, contact your local Arthritis Foundation Chapter and ask for the Chapter Advocacy Contact to inquire if the Chapter is coordinating a group of advocates for a visit. If not, the Chapter will have the necessary materials detailing the Arthritis Act to give to the legislator or their local staff.
2. If you are not sure who your U.S. Representative is, type in your zip code in the Write to Congress box above and click GO to find your representative. The pictures and information of each Senator and your Representative will appear.
3. Select each picture of your Senators and Representative and information about their district offices will appear at the top of the page.
4. To formally request a meeting with the legislator, write a letter -- with your mailing address placed at the top -- indicating why you would like to meet (a sample letter is below) and mail or fax it directly to the main district office.
5. Remember to follow-up with a phone call to the office to confirm receipt and schedule the meeting. If the staff is unable to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the Member, the office may provide you with a time and place of a public event that the Member is hosting.
Meeting With Your Legislator
1. When making the appointment, you may end up meeting with a staff member. Don't be disappointed, the staff are very knowledgeable and support your Senators or Representative on various issues.
2. During the meeting, focus on your personal story with arthritis, and why it is important to prevent, control, and cure arthritis for yourself, family members or friends. Ask the legislator to cosponsor the Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act.
3. If you are not sure how to answer a question, don't be embarrassed. Offer to find out the answer and contact the office again.
4. Don't forget to bring the chapter packet with the Arthritis Act information included to leave with the office.
1. Send a thank you note to your legislator and restate your request to have them cosponsor the arthritis legislation.
2. Provide feedback of the visit to the Office of Public Policy & Advocacy and your Chapter.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com or call 202-887-1700. Thank you for taking some time to tell your Senators and U.S. Representatives how arthritis affects your life and for asking them to support Arthritis Advocacy Priorities.
Sample Meeting Request Letter
I would like to request on behalf of NAME a brief meeting with Senator/Representative on DATE. I am available anytime between TIME and TIME.
They would like the opportunity to discuss the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act with him/her.
Thank you for your kind consideration of this request. Should you require additional information, please contact me. I will contact you shortly to check on the status of this request.