Congress to Soon Head Home, Kicking Off Constituent Outreach Sessions
Written by Editor   
Sunday, July 30, 2017 07:27 AM

The August congressional recess provides opportunity for DCs to meet and talk to their federal legislators.  Members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate will soon head home to their states and districts. The start of the traditional summer recess comes after, what both parties will tell you, was a less than productive session, leaving several issues unresolved. Nonetheless, in August, members will hold town hall forums, listening sessions, and other public events geared toward gauging constituent views and interests.

Doctors of chiropractic are especially encouraged to seek out their federal legislators at these public town hall meetings because they are a great way to begin establishing a relationship, or strengthening an existing one, with your lawmaker's office. Town hall meetings are free and open to the public. Typically, the legislator will make some remarks about what is happening on Capitol Hill and specifically about what he or she has accomplished or working on. In addition, there is usually time set aside for questions and answers.

If you’ve never attended a town hall meeting before, or even if you’re a seasoned pro, it might feel a bit intimidating. Here are five tips to help you navigate the political town halls:

  • Arrive on time. Town hall meetings are often very crowded and you do not want to disturb the meeting after it has started. Also, you may have a better opportunity to ask your question and speak with your Member of Congress after the event if you are seated near the front of the hall.
  • Prepare your question ahead of time. Before attending the town hall, write down your question on a piece of paper so you are prepared to ask it when the time comes. A clear, concise question will show you are knowledgeable about the issue and will give your Member of Congress a better opportunity to respond. Here, feel free to use prepared “talking points” on legislation other than health care reform that can be found here.
  • Be polite and professional even if your senator, representative or other town hall attendees disagree with your position. Stick to the facts, even if others don’t.
  •  Follow up with the Member of Congress and his/her staff. Call or e-mail the office after the town hall meeting to offer additional resources or ask follow up questions about the issues that were discussed.
  • Above all, be visible. Let your legislators know that doctors of chiropractic and the services they provide are an important part of the health care delivery system in your community.

Find Where Your Representatives and Senators Will Be:

Many offices release their recess schedule through their webpage, or on Facebook (see individual congressional website). You can find their Twitter connections by going here. Your local newspaper may also list town hall schedules. Check your legislator’s webpage, linked above, for the most up-to- date schedule and information.

Other Resources: 

Source:  American Chiropractic Association