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How to Set up a Meeting with Your Member of Congress

    Know Your Members of Congress

    Use this tool to find out who they are and get their contact information.

    Check the Calendar

    Before contacting the legislator’s office, check the session calendars. The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives release their yearly calendars at the beginning of each year. Be sure to check their calendars to make sure your legislator will be in the district and able to meet with you during your appointment.

    Contact the Legislator’s Office

    1. Call the district office you wish to visit (or call their D.C. office), introduce yourself as a constituent, and let them know you would like to meet with the legislator in their district office (they may have several so be specific) and ask for the scheduler’s email address.  
    2. Send the scheduler a formal meeting request. You can use our sample letter or draft your own letter.
    3. Be flexible with the dates and times, request 30 minutes, and be sure to designate which district office location you want the meeting.
    4. If a meeting with a staffer is offered, we recommend you don’t turn it down. Staffers are the “eyes and ears” of their bosses and establishing rapport with them is extremely impactful.
    5. The scheduler may want to know what you would like to discuss during the meeting. You can explain you would like to introduce them to IREM, our industry, and also talk about protecting the 1031 like-kind exchange tax provision, and to discuss ADA reform.

    Follow up

    Call the office one week after submitting the request to confirm it was received. They receive thousands of requests each year, so be sure to check back to ensure your request wasn’t accidentally overlooked.

    Let IREM Know About Your Meeting

    Once your meeting time is confirmed, report back to IREM and submit a few meeting details on the online form. You can always edit the information if anything changes.

    Prepare

    Check out the “How to Lobby” primer and the FAQs sheet to find out how to make your meeting a success. Always do some homework on the legislator – where were they born? Where do they stand on an issue? Are they on a key committee? And once the issues have been determined, please read the IREM issue brief to learn more about what you will be discussing during your meeting.

    Practice Before Your Meeting

    Set up a meeting or conference call with IREM Members who will be attending the in-district meeting with you. You should practice for the meeting and know who will talk about what (introduce yourselves, educate them on IREM, and discuss each issue and ask for support). This meeting can be brief, but it’s always wise to touch base with other attendees before arriving at the legislator’s district office.

    Meet

    Arrive early for the meeting and be ready to go when the legislator or their staffer is available to meet. Do not be upset if the legislator is suddenly unavailable to meet – congressional staffers are great resources and understand many issues. They also brief their bosses on the issue and can relay important information that you shared.