Introduction and Overview
For 50 years, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has been the leading advocacy voice on municipal clean water issues. A primary reason for this is the continued willingness of NACWA members to meet with Members of Congress and their staffs, providing direct input to legislative decisions that will impact clean water utilities and their communities. While NACWA staff work hard on Capitol Hill to inform the legislative process, meetings by NACWA members play a critical role in advancing the Association’s overall advocacy agenda. These meetings between a utility and the elected representatives serving the utility’s ratepayers are among the most important advocacy actions that a clean water agency can take.
In light of the pandemic, NACWA is encouraging members to set up virtual meetings with Members of Congress and their staff. The process for setting up a virtual meeting mirrors that of an in-person meeting.
This guide outlines the steps for a successful interaction with Members of Congress and their staff, providing a simple primer for meeting and building relationships with key decision-makers. The guide is designed to be an introductory resource for you to begin your advocacy work, whether that involves congressional meetings in Washington, DC or back home in local district offices. This guide is not exhaustive so please look to the NACWA Government Affairs team as a resource.
Set Up a Meeting
Get Involved! It’s a Privilege and a Right of Citizenship.
From the beginning, citizenship in America was designed for people to help govern themselves.
BEFORE THE MEETING
to a successful Congressional meeting is thorough preparation and strong
understanding of the facts. Therefore, you should start preparing for your
meeting several weeks before the meeting is set to
DURING THE MEETING
During the meeting, the most important aspect to consider is staying on message and presenting your points clearly and concisely. It is important to come prepared with talking points, so you can conduct a successful meeting, as well as establish yourself as a knowledgeable resource on the issueREAD MORE
AFTER THE MEETING
to most long-term projects, advocacy work is more like a marathon than a
sprint. Thus, achieving advocacy goals requires persistence and follow through.
The best way to maintain these relationships is to continue interacting with
your member of Congress by following up and checking-in.