August Recess Action Center
Meet With Your Members of Congress
Advocates at the NCTE and Trans People of Color Coalition Lobby Day after their meeting with Senator Durbin. Photo: Tyler Grigsby.
How to Schedule a Meeting
For ENDA Meetings: Select Your State Below
Call your senator's office and ask to schedule a meeting to discuss the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Don't see your state listed? Find their phone number here.
For Immigration Reform Meetings: Select Your Representative Below
Select your Representative from the list below and contect them about commonsense immigration reform. If you do not know your representative, find them here.
Here is a short guide to having a successful meeting with your members of Congress, excerpted from our resource, Make Your Voice Heard: A Transgender Guide to Educating Congress.
1) Assemble a Team
The most successful meetings have more than one person from the community sharing their story and explaining why an issue is important. Bring a small group of two to four people from diverse backgrounds with you on your visit. Having multiple people of different racial, ethnic, class, and gender identities provides multiple perspectives that may better educate the officeholder about the realities of anti-transgender discrimination.
2) Set Up Your Meeting
During the month of August, elected officials are in their home districts meeting with constituents like you. Most maintain a regular schedule of their time in their district offices which can be found on their websites. Meetings need to be requested in writing and should be directed to the scheduler, a staff member whose job is to manage the officeholder's calendar. Schedule your meeting as early as possible, and don't worry if they don't get back to you—offices are very busy so you must be persistent in following up with the office.
For a sample meeting request letter, see page 13 of Make Your Voice Heard.
3) Prepare for Your Meeting
Hold a practice meeting with your team so you can share information, determine a strategy, and rehearse talking points. Because appointments are not typically longer than 15 to 20 minutes, taking the time to prepare carefully will help you use that time wisely to focus on the most important issues. Team members should be assigned roles for the meeting with people assigned to facilitate introductions, help move the meeting along, take notes, and ensure that the right questions get asked.
For more tips on preparing for your meeting, see page 6 of Make Your Voice Heard.
4) Meeting with Your Elected Official
When you arrive, each member of your team should introduce themselves by sharing their name and that they are constituents of the officeholder. Make note of any personal connections they may have with the member of Congress. In these meetings, the most important thing is to share experiences of discrimation against yourself or people you know. For these meetings, share any experiences you have about discrimination in the workplace or challenges you faced in the immigration system because of your transgender identity.
For an example of how to share your story, see page 7 of Make Your Voice Heard.