SCHEDULING YOUR ADVOCACY MEETINGS
Individual delegations are responsible for setting up visits with their Members of Congress.
Before you schedule your advocacy meetings (August-Early October):
- Delegations from CA, NY, WA, and OH will have their Senate meetings booked for them. Delegations from these states are asked to book their House meetings after 11:30 AM. Please see CA, NY, WA, OH delegations tab for more details.
- We recommend that each participant visit their Representative and at least one Senator. Participants should meet with the Congresspersons tied to their voting addresses, rather than the institution’s address. Your delegation may meet with multiple Representatives and Senators to account for delegates being from multiple districts.
- Please decide if you will be advocating on humane migration reform, care for creation, or both during your meetings.
Scheduling your advocacy meetings (start this at least THREE weeks before the IFTJ)
1. Find the names and contact information for your Representative and Senators at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. Participants should book meetings with the Congresspersons tied to their voting addresses, not necessarily the institution’s 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 issue(s) 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, WA, and OH 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.
By September 8: ISN will reach out to your delegation contact person to confirm if your delegation would like to participate in the Senate meeting.
By September 15: Confirm with ISN how many members of your delegation will be participating in the Senate meeting.
Week of October 10: 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. Since many of the Senate meetings will include 5+ delegations, it is important to limit the number of speakers from each group.
October 38: At a minimum, the person who will be speaking for your school must attend the IFTJ advocacy training on Saturday, 10/28 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! Delegations that prepare ahead of time enter advocacy day both more relaxed and prepared, which can help soothe the nerves of first-time advocates (and veterans too!).
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.
Meeting Preparation Resources
- Advocacy Training at IFTJ
Saturday, Oct 28, 1:00-2:15 pm and Sunday, Oct 29 8:00 pm
We strongly encourage attendance to increase readiness for successful advocacy visits. A seasoned advocate will help your delegation strategize for your meetings, practice run-throughs, and get you more comfortable leading into advocacy day. Advocacy training at IFTJ is free, but registration is required. To honor advocates’ time, you will be charged $10 per person if you register and do not attend. Registration required: coming soon!
- Advocacy Prep Webinars
The 45-minute webinars offer a talking points overview, a look at the current political climate related to each of the issues, and include Q&A time.
Advocacy prep webinar dates/times TBA
- Ignatian Advocacy 101 Training Guide
The guide features tips for advocacy meeting preparation and follow-up, a 90-minute training agenda, sample advocacy letters, meeting planners, and more! View Guide