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A guide to communicating with Congress from the American Society for Microbiology Office of Public Affairs
Scientific societies, research organizations and health groups advocate for increases in research and public health programs during the budget and appropriations process and provide policy statements, information and resource materials. Advocacy for research can only be successful if the public and research community are part of the effort. Communications from the public are key to influencing research budgets. The ASM Legislative Action Center is available online by clicking here. and makes contacting members of Congress easy. The site allows members to send e-mail messages to their congressional representatives. The Office of Public Affairs posts legislative alerts and resource materials at key times during the budget process and directs members to the site so they can send a message to Congress.
Communicating with Congress:
The best way to communicate with Congress is though personalized messages. Senators, Representatives and members of their staff attach great importance to personal messages because they show a serious effort on the part of a constituent. The most critical thing to remember when communicating with your Senators or Representative is timeliness. Knowing when action is pending on an appropriation or legislative issue is essential. Express your views in a way your legislators can understand, but make it clear that you possess specialized knowledge that gives you an important perspective on the issue.
Here are some simple guidelines to follow when communicating with Congress:
The ASM’s Legislative Action Center is an advocacy tool that allows ASM members to send messages to their Representative and Senators about issues of importance to the microbiological sciences.
Meeting with Congress:
Meeting with a member of Congress is another effective way to communicate your message. Remember that the member has a District Office as well as a Washington office. Scheduling meeting in their District Office makes the chance of getting an appointment easier.
Here are a few guidelines to follow when planning a meeting with a member of Congress:
The ASM Office of Public Affairs is a resource for information regarding issues and legislation that affect microbiologists. If you have any questions about communicating with Congress please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Affairs staff can assist you with information and in setting up a meeting with your member of Congress. For assistance, e-mail Meghan O’Brien at email@example.com.
Go to the ASM Policy for more information: http://www.asm.org/index.php/public-policy
Thank you for being an advocate for research and public health.