How will it work?
Participants will will be provided with resources to dig into the issues prior to their arrival in Washington, D.C. and will continue digging in throughout the Teach-In. All Teach-In participants are offered an advocacy training with professional advocates and will be given support to help prepare for fruitful discussions with their elected Congresspersons.
Please note: Attendees interested in participating in the advocacy day are responsible for booking their own meetings. Any questions regarding booking meetings may be directed to Kim Miller at email@example.com
Setting Up Your Advocacy Visits
Individual delegations are responsible for setting up visits with their Members of Congress. Delegations from CA, NY, IL, PA, OH, MD, and MA will have their Senate meetings booked for them. Delegations from these states are asked to book their House meetings after 11:30am.
Before you schedule your advocacy meetings (August-Early October):
- We recommend that each participant visits with his/her Representative and at least one Senator. Please have your participants meet with the Congresspersons tied to their voting addresses, rather than the school’s address. Your delegation may be meeting with multiple representatives and Senators (to account for delegates being from multiple districts).
- If you’re open to collaboration: once you know where your participants are registered to vote, please fill out the Who Are You Planning to Schedule Meetings With? form. This form will be used to help you and other delegation leaders coordinate meetings if you have participants in overlapping districts and states.
- Please decide if you will be advocating for immigration reform, criminal justice, or both issues in your meetings.
Delegations from CA, NY, IL, PA, OH, MD, and MA: An ISN representative will reach out to you in August regarding your Senate meetings. If you have not heard from ISN representative by 10/1, please contact Kim Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scheduling your advocacy meetings (start this at least FOUR weeks before the IFTJ)
1. Find the names and contact information for your Representative and Senators at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. Remember: we’re asking delegations to book meetings with the Congresspersons tied to participants’ voting addresses, not necessarily the school/parish address.
2. Contact the scheduler in your Congressperson’s D.C. office and ask for an appointment with the Member or Legislative Assistant.
3. You may need to fax or email your appointment request. Sample request letters are available online.
4. Tell the scheduler the date & times you are available, the issues you want to discuss, and who will be present during the visit.
5. Confirm the visit by phone a day or two before the appointment.
SCHEDULING YOUR SENATE MEETINGS
Due to the large size and amount of delegations from CA, NY, IL, PA, OH, MD and MA participating in advocacy day, ISN staff will be responsible for booking your Senate meetings. Please do not book your own Senate meetings. You may book House meetings on your own, but please try to book them after 11:30 am.
An ISN representative will reach out to you in early August to confirm if you would like to participate in a Senate meeting. To keep the size manageable for Congressional staff, ISN will be scheduling only one Senate meeting per school/parish.
Once your meeting has been scheduled, you will be asked to 1) select one representative from your delegation to be a meeting speaker (can be a student, parishioner, etc.) and 2) be part of a conference call with a delegation leader from each of the delegations to determine meeting roles and logistics.
August 1-September 1: ISN will reach out to your delegation contact person to confirm if your delegation would like to participate in the Senate meeting.
By September 21: Confirm with ISN staffperson how many members of your delegation will be participating in the Senate meeting.
By October 12: Select one representative from your group to be responsible for speaking during the meeting. Since many of the Senate meetings will include 5+ delegations, it is important to limit the amount of speakers from each group.
October 17-21: Take part in a conference call with representatives from the other delegations who will be part of your Senate meeting. During this call, you will: 1) determine which delegation will be responsible for specific speaking roles, 2) which issues you will be covering, and 3) logistics for helping the meetings flow smoothly.
November 13: At minimum, the person who will be speaking for your school must attend the IFTJ advocacy training on Sunday, 11/13 for your state. It will provide a time for the speakers to meet each other prior to the advocacy day and try a quick meeting run-through.
Preparing for Your Meetings
All Teach-In participants are offered a policy update and a small group advocacy training (a chance to role-play what a meeting looks like with seasoned advocates). However, ISN strongly recommends that delegations prepare for their advocacy meetings prior to the Teach-In. Preparation steps include: getting familiar with the talking points, attending the advocacy prep webinars, researching the issue positions of the Members you will be meeting with, dividing talking point responsibilities, and practicing talking points.
If you have any joint meetings scheduled with another delegation, connect with the delegation’s leaders prior to the IFTJ to determine which advocacy issue(s) you will cover, and break up responsibilities for meeting roles. Contact Kim Miller at email@example.com for a meeting planner and suggestions on what to work out prior to your joint meeting.
Meeting Preparation Resources:
1. Skype or In-Person Advocacy Trainings From Professional Advocates
If you would like to connect with a professional advocate to discuss strategy or receive and advocacy training via Skype, please contact Kim Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or (216) 397-2080. In some cases, you may also be able to schedule an in-person advocacy training with a professional advocate prior to the Teach-In.
2. Advocacy Prep Webinars
All delegations who are participating in advocacy meetings are strongly encouraged to have at least one person from the group present for each of the issue-focused prep meetings. There will be additional advocacy training and issue briefing at the Teach-In, but the webinars will increase your readiness for successful advocacy visits.
Advocacy 101: October 10, 4:00-4:45 PM ET
Immigration: October 11, 4:00-4:45 PM ET
Criminal Justice: October 12, 4:00-4:45 PM ET
View the IFTJ 2015 advocacy prep webinars archive – Registration for IFTJ 16 webinars coming soon
The training guide for schools and communities features tips for advocacy meeting preparation and follow-up, a 90-minute training agenda, sample advocacy letters, meeting planners, and more!
Ignatian Advocacy 101: A Training Guide for Schools and Communities
Ignatian Solidarity Network
VIDEO: The Amnesty ABC’s: Learning to Lobby
Ecumenical Advocacy Days
Tips for preparing for a meeting and advocacy meeting role play videos