Setting up a Meeting with Your Member of Congress

Thank you for committing to take action for wild horses and burros and ensuring that your Member of Congress signs the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign pledge.

Arranging a meeting at the local district office of your Congressperson and/or Senator is an easy way to make your voice heard. Members of Congress and their staff give priority to scheduling meetings with their constituents - so it is important that you do this outreach directly. We’ve created the following five-step guide to outline the process.

1. Finding Your Local Office: You should have received an e-mail from us with a list of your Member of Congress’ local district offices. You should pick the office that is closest and most convenient to you. If you haven’t received this e-mail, please let us know and we will send you the list.

2. Initial Outreach to Schedule The Meeting: Each Congressional office has a different procedure for scheduling constituent meetings. The best thing to do is to call the main number of the local office and politely inquire about the best way to go about scheduling a meeting.

Sample Phone Script: “HI, My name is [ name ] and I’m a constituent of [ Member of Congress ] and would like to inquire about scheduling a meeting to discuss federal wild horse policy. Could you please let me know the best way to schedule a brief meeting with the [Member of Congress] or a member of [his/her] staff?”

Very often you will be directed to an e-mail address or the member’s website where you can fill out an online request. If so, follow the instructions from the office and complete the form, arranging the meeting at a date and time convenient for you.

3. Follow-Up to Confirm Your Meeting: The key to scheduling your meeting is following up with the staff in your Member’s office to ensure that they received your request and process it. Offices receive many requests each day for meetings and very often requests get lost. Often, following up includes calling both the district and the DC office, asking to speak to the scheduler, and confirming that the request was received.

4. Attending the Meeting: Once the meeting is confirmed, it’s important to maximize your time during the meeting. Remember, the goal of the meeting is to impress upon that office to sign the Keep Wild Horses Wild Pledge.

We have prepared talking points to assist you making a case. Be sure to review them before the meeting and use them as a guide during. You should also print out a copy of the pledge to provide to the office. This is what we want them to sign.

When talking, be direct and specific -- our objective is to ask the Member to sign our pledge. While they may also be interested in hearing why this issue is important to you, they also want to know exactly what you are asking them to do.

Before or after the meeting, ask the staffer to take a photo of you in the congressional office to document your visit. Be sure to send this to us later, or tweet it to us and tag @FreeWildHorses so we can know right away.

Be sure to thank the staffer for their time and say that you will be following up with the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

5. Let us know how the meeting went: Collect the business cards of the staffers you meet. Copy this information down, along with any notes that you took in the meeting and e-mail them to contact@wildhorsepreservation.org. We’ll also be e-mailing you a follow-up form to gain your feedback.

Good luck. Thank you for standing up for America’s wild horses and burros!