Congress is coming home from Washington for a break – or a recess. The House calls it a “District Work Period.” Your Representative may be having a town hall or other public event to connect with constituents. If so, it is an excellent opportunity to share your views on diabetes and health policy.

What’s Your Member Doing for Recess?

Your member’s web page is a great place to find out what they have scheduled. Or you can call their office.  DPAC’s Scorecard lists every member of Congress’ web page and phone number.

Go to the Scorecard

  • Scroll Down to your State and Member
  • Click the “www” in your Member’s row for their website.
  • The DC office phone number is there too.
  • Scroll to the right and find out how many people in your district live with diabetes.

 


Write a question before you go. Start with a short introduction including:

  • Your hometown, so they know you are a constituent.
  • How many people in the district have diabetes, so they know there are a lot of us.
  • A specific question that touches your life, so the member’s reply address you as an individual.

Examples

Hi. I am Jane Doe from Hometown. I am one of 56 thousand people in the 5th district with diabetes. It is a pre-existing condition of us all. How are you protecting access to my doctor and the treatments she prescribes that me a useful and productive contributor to the community here in the 5th district?

or

Hi. I am Jane Doe from Hometown. My child is one of 56 thousand people in the 5th district with diabetes. Will you protecting her access to care through my insurance until she is 26 so she can see her doctor, stay a healthy and established herself as a young adult?

Get there early and get a good seat.

While You Are There

Even if you may not agree with your representative’s party or stand on a topic, it’s crucial to be polite during your interactions. Insulting or yelling at a representative is a sure way to shut down a productive conversation quickly.

Stick around.

  • Connect with staff and get their contact information.
  • Engage with local reporters.
  • Offer to be a resource and share your contact information.

What if They are Not Playing?

If you are not seeing that your Member of Congress is holding a town hall meeting, you can still connect.

  • Call the office and politely ask when the members will appear at a public event in the district.
  • Make an appointment at the local office to speak to staff.
  • Sign up for their newsletter to stay informed of your Members activities.
  • Ask your question through your member’s social media channels.