Meeting face-to-face with your elected officials is the most effective way to develop a relationship with them.
- Members of Congress have offices in Washington, DC, and in their district.
- If visiting a Member of Congress in Washington, DC, call that office well in advance and ask to speak with the scheduler/appointment secretary. Afternoon appointments are usually easiest to schedule.
- If you want to visit a Member of Congress in his/her district office, call that office and schedule the meeting for when he/she is home for a long weekend or during Congressional recess (usually around holidays and most of August—see the Calendars at the right). Congressional staffers are often searching for opportunities to use the Member’s time at home in an effective way.
- When scheduling a meeting with a State Legislator, be aware of State Legislature recesses (around holidays and most of the summer).
- Plan to spend no more than 20 minutes at the meeting. Elected officials are extremely busy; respecting their time may help you secure future meetings.
- Don't be disappointed if you end up meeting with staff, rather than an elected official. It is impossible for elected officials to follow all issues themselves, so they depend on advice from their staff because. Staff are gatekeepers and they can sometimes be the real driving force on an issue.
- Prepare for your discussion and be concise. Know what you want to say and back it up with facts.
- If, during the discussion, you don’t know an answer, say so. Offer to find the answer and get in touch with the elected official or staff as soon as possible.
- Bring a one-page background sheet on your issue that you can leave with the elected official/staff.
- Always follow up with a written thank you, and include any follow-up information that was promised during the meeting.
Congressional & Legislative Calendars
Health Center Advocacy Resources
Housed within the MPCA website is a wealth of educational and resource materials on a variety of topics relevant to Michigan Health Centers and the delivery of primary and preventive care to medically underserved areas and populations. To access Health Center Advocacy Resources you may search the website by keyword using the search field at the top of this page, or you may search the Health Center Advocacy Resources webpage.
Need Help Scheduling a Visit?
The following MPCA staff member is available to help arrange visits with your elected officials:
J. Ryan Grinnell, MPA
Government Affairs Manager