Are you the type of person who makes a to-do list? If so, I hope that the No. 1 item is your Capitol Hill visit on Tuesday, March 24, in conjunction with the ABC Annual Meeting. If you are like me, your to-do list needs specific boxes to check off. Here at ABC, we’ve taken the guess work out of your planning. Start early and you will be ready for this premier grassroots advocacy opportunity. Believe me, your members of Congress (MOC) will be delighted to meet with you, their constituent.
Register for and attend ABC’s Get Ready: Advocacy Forum Webinar on Feb. 25.
Identifyyour senators and congressperson (www.contactingthecongress.org).
Schedulean appointment with your MOCs.
- By Feb. 20th, begin with a phone call to your representatives’ offices to gain the scheduler’s name and e-mail.
- E-mail or phone the scheduler to make an appointment for March 24 at 10 a.m. ET or later.
- Once confirmed, e-mail email@example.com with the following information:
- MOC, state/district, MOC office information and phone number, and visit time; and
- Health Care Legislative Assistant (HCLA) name and email.
Plan your travel home to depart from Washington late in the afternoon on Tuesday, March 24 to allow time to complete your visits.
Brief yourself on the one-pagers about critical advocacy issues on the member’s website by March 14.
Attend the ABC Advocacy Briefing on Tuesday morning before departing for the Hill from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City.
Visit lawmakers to advocate for the initiatives that have an impact on your blood center and other ABC member centers.
Send a hand-written thank you note to the staff and/or MOC that you met with on the Hill.
Summarize the topics discussed and any follow-up necessary for ABC staff and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope that you plan to attend this advocacy event organized exclusively for ABC members. Your voice must be heard in order to address some of the challenges facing the blood community. You will learn how to influence legislative and regulatory leaders and serve as a designated contact on behalf of ABC for your MOC.
Your job as an ABC grassroots advocate will be to localize and personalize the impact of issues affecting the blood banking industry, while building a strong ongoing relationship with your MOC. Believe me, it’s exciting, it’s fun and you can do it. No experience necessary – only an interest in advocating to advance policies affecting ABC’s member blood centers.
Christine Zambricki, DNAP, CRNA, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer;CZambricki@americasblood.org