Take Action in August!•
Opportunity Nation supporters are the best ambassadors for opportunity in the country. Now, we have an opportunity for policy advocacy this August. We invite you to take part in an event and help make an impact on your congressional representatives.
Both chambers of the U.S. Congress go on recess August 5, 2013 until September 9, 2013. Members of Congress spend this time in their districts connecting with constituents and learning about issues that are important to voters. Given the surge of energy and attention opportunity and economic mobility is receiving this summer, sparked in particular by a groundbreaking study covered by the New York Times, this is a great opportunity to advocate and engage elected officials on Opportunity Nation’s Shared Plan. Our goal is to have Opportunity Nation supports take advantage of this time to engage in advocacy in twenty-five states.
- We are challenging members of Opportunity Nation to meet this challenge in two ways: Attend a district event, or
- Schedule a meeting with your representative
Then – take a picture and share your experience with the Opportunity Nation Facebook Page! If you are an Opportunity Leader or Scholar, be sure to post your activities to the Leaders and Scholars Facebook page as well.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
ATTEND A PUBLIC EVENT
During congressional recess, Members of Congress make all types of appearances across their districts. These include constituent coffees, tours of schools, pancake breakfasts, town hall meetings and much more. This is your chance to engage directly with the elected official that represents you about creating stronger pathways to education, careers and postsecondary education for young adults at a critical time before they take important votes that affect your community.
- Find your Congressional member here.
- Enter your address, zoom in on map to locate your district.
- Click on the homepage listed for your member, make sure it’s their official cite.
- Find out where your elected official is planning to make appearances in your congressional district.
- Check out their website
- Check their Facebook and/or Twitter accounts
- Check the local newspaper
- Sign up for their newsletter or email alerts
- Call their office and say: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent of Representative/Senator_____. Can you tell me where Representative/Senator____ will be attending events in the district during the August recess?
- Get a group together to attend an event, rather than attending on your own, which will minimize any intimidation you might feel. Plus it is fun!
- Take a picture or a video! Make sure to take photos. You can also video record your question to get the answer on the record! Wear your Opportunity Nation t-shirt to the event for an even better photo!
- Facebook it, Tweet it, Instagram it using #oppnation! Members of Congress know the importance of positive social media and enjoy the exposure. Be sure to post on Facebook and tweet about the meeting with photos and video. Make sure the content gets to the office of the elected office so they have a chance to share.
- Write a short blog post for Opportunity Nation and send to our Senior Writer, Jennifer Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the following information: The date and location and type of event where you met the Member of Congress; his or her name and party affiliation; what the highlights of the event and your conversation were; and if the Member of Congress agreed to follow up with you, support the bipartisan American Dream Accounts Act or the CAREER Act, or anything else that is newsworthy from this event.
- Don’t be afraid to ask a question, whether on the phone or in person. Here is a list of suggested questions.
SCHEDULE A MEETING
Members of Congress love to interact with constituents, especially when they’re respectful and full of good ideas. Members of Congress listen to their constituents far more than they listen to Washington lobbyists. You are the real experts working on the ground every day. Plus, you’re their boss!
- Call the district office and say: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent of Representative/Senator_____. I am a strong supporter creating greater opportunities for young adults. Does Representative/Senator ______have time to meet with me and/or my group to talk about these issues during the August recess?
- Try to be as flexible as you can be, since their schedules are packed.
- Don’t be discouraged if your elected official can’t meet with you and your meeting is with a staff member. Treat your meeting with them just as you would a meeting with an elected official.
- If you are unable to schedule a meeting with your elected office or staff, you can stop by the district office and drop off a packet of information on Opportunity Nation.
For more information or questions, please contact Lucas Trainer, Community Leadership Fellow at email@example.com