2018 Washington Conference Advocacy

 

CAPITOL HILL DAY ADVOCACY
 
Jump start your preparations for NAHRO's Capitol Hill Day on Tuesday, April 24! For more information on Hill Day, how to schedule meetings, and tips for effective meetings, watch What to Know Before You Go
 
SCHEDULING YOUR MEETINGS
  • First, click here for information on how to effectively communicate with your legislator’s office.
  • Contact your legislator's office as soon as possible. To obtain your legislator's contact information, click on the links below:
  • Request to schedule a meeting on Tuesday, April 24, with your legislator and or his/her staff person who handles housing and community development issues.  Your first point of contact should be the legislator's scheduler.  Let them know how many people you are expecting to attend the meeting. Note: Don't drop by unless you have absolutely no other choice--schedules and resources are already stretched to the limit.  Drop by appointments can increase anxiety and sometimes strain relationships. If you must drop by, be gracious about the options available to you.
  • Before traveling to the conference, remember to confirm your meetings.
PREPARING YOUR MESSAGE
  • Attend the The Washington Report session on Sunday, April 22, for an examination of the current environment in Washington, as well as a review of NAHRO’s legislative and regulatory priorities and funding recommendations.  Additionally the session will provide tips and insights to aid your Capitol Hill Day advocacy efforts.   
MEETING WITH YOUR LEGISLATOR
  • Identify yourself as a constituent. Provide your address and tell them about the services you provide to the community.
  • Be brief but make your case.  Start positive and try to thank your legislator for something they have done.  Don't talk so long about one issue that you run out of time to talk about other issues of importance.
  • Share your personal experiences so you can educate your elected official about current housing and community development issues in your community. Describe the hardships and life changes that you know housing and community development programs have created for residents. Remember to always put a face on the story.
  • Share some recent housing facts. Help your elected official understand the importance of affordable housing and the number of people − both in your community and nationwide − who are in need of such housing.  Also illustrate how recent cuts have adversely affected your programs and clients.
  • Be specific about how your legislator can help you and ask (don't demand) for their support.  Identify the bill number of any legislative initiative that requires support and briefly describe what the bill would accomplish.
  • Consider leaving a one pager behind that outlines your specific asks.  Offer to provide additional information or be a resource.
  • Always be polite and respectful and show that you are passionate and committed to your clients.  Even if members and staff disagree with your position or issue, they will respect your feelings.  People who show they care are memorable.
  • For more tips on making the most of your meeting, click here.
Do you want to have professional photographs documenting your legislator meetings?  Contact Scott Henrichsen, NAHRO's photographer, to join you at your meeting (pending availability.)  scott@scottfoto.com
 
FOLLOW-UP TIPS
  • Send a thank you note to your legislator and restate your request for his/her support.  If you promised to provide more information--provide it.  Additionally, consider inviting them for a site visit of your properties/projects the next time they are home on recess.
  • Provide feedback on your meetings to NAHRO's Congressional Relations team. 
  • Continue to follow up with your legislator's office about your priorities and keep the lines of communication open.  Remember, advocacy is a year round activity!

 

TRANSPORTATION FOR NAHRO'S CAPITOL HILL DAY
 
Shuttle transportation is available and will depart the Crystal Gateway Marriott’s Eads Street entrance on Tuesday morning beginning at 7:15 a.m. and will continue until 11:00 a.m., leaving every 30 minutes. Please note that you will have to walk several blocks upon drop off as buses are only permitted to the perimeter of the Hill at Garfield Circle (First Street and Maryland Avenue, SW) for security reasons.
 
Shuttle service will resume after lunch with return trips from the Hill to the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel. The shuttle will run from 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., leaving every 30 minutes. Meet the shuttle at Peace Circle (First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue). Buses will arrive approximately five minutes before the scheduled departure time.
 
Alternatively, cabs can drop passengers at all House and Senate office buildings. Attendees can also take the Metro from the Crystal City Station, entrance located on lobby level of the hotel, to either Union Station (Senate side) on the Metro’s Red line or Capitol South (House side) on Metro’s Blue/Orange/Silver lines. Union Station is within walking distance of the Senate Office Buildings (Russell, Dirksen, and Hart) and Capitol South is within walking distance of the House Office Buildings (Rayburn,Longworth, and Cannon).
 
Please be sure to visit this page often for updated information! If you have any questions or require assistance with preparations for your meetings, please e-mail Tess Hembree at  thembree@nahro.org.