Public Resource
Summer Heat: Tips for organizing in-district meetings with elected representatives
Brandon Forester and Mary Alice Crim. PowerLabs

Build real power in congressional districts and persuade representatives to vote your way using multiple coordinated steps. Center the experience of real people doing the activism—employ tactics that energize people. Focus on building meaningful relationships with other activists, with other groups, and with the member of Congress’ office. Develop organic leaders through training and giving responsibility. Create cohesive grassroots groups. It’s ideal to plan a meeting 1-3 weeks ahead of time with the member of Congress’ office—it’s best to schedule the meeting, but it’s also possible to just drop in. Say “active political donors” want to meet—that will yield meetings with more senior staff in the congressional office. Recruit activists through multiple channels: peer-to-peer texting, phone-banking, email, bulk voicemail delivery, and Facebook ads, for example. To keep activists involved, use 1:1 and small group meetings and encourage participants to talk and reflect. Center personal stories in molding activists’ involvement and how they message the campaign.