August 3, 2022

Advocacy at Home: Tools and Tips for Meetings with Legislators In-District

What is an in-district visit? You meet with your elected official or their staff in the district instead of traveling to Washington, D.C. You share your expertise and experience and encourage the elected official to act on specific issue(s).

Requesting Your Meeting

  • Request a meeting via email and/or phone call to the elected official’s scheduler. Check here to find contact information for the D.C. and District offices.
  • Your meeting request should include: a range of times you are available to meet; your contact information; the fact that you are a constituent; and specific issue(s) or legislation you would like to discuss.

Preparing for Your Meeting

  • Check ACEP’s Advocacy and Media resources for the latest information on relevant issues.
  • There are three specific issues strategically chosen for timeliness and urgency. Prepare for your meetings by reviewing the included talking points and identifying a relevant personal story for each topic, if possible. The goal is to use your experience to personalize the need for a specific policy “ask,” such as urging a legislator to sponsor a bill.
  • Print any informational materials you may want to leave with the office.
  • Let the office know if you are planning to bring any colleagues, residents, medical students, etc. with you to the meeting. A maximum of four attendees is recommended.
  • If you are bringing anyone with you, discuss talking points, and which stories you want to share as examples, in advance.
  • Check your elected official’s website to familiarize yourself with their priority issues and anything that will help you relate your talking points and stories to their interests.

During Your Meeting

  • Bring ID in case you are asked for it when you arrive.
  • Silence your phone during the meeting but keep it available if you have an opportunity for a photo with your elected official. Please send any relevant photos to Liz Demorest in the ACEP D.C. office at
  • Be prompt and patient. Elected officials have tight schedules that may change. If your meeting changes to a meeting with staff, that is still valuable and worthwhile!
  • Start the meeting by introducing yourself, thank them for taking time to meet with you, and mention any personal connection you may have with the office.
  • Keep your remarks focused and stick to your planned topic. You will likely have 20 minutes or less with staff, and ten minutes or less with an elected official.
  • Provide personal and local examples of the impact of the legislation you are advocating for.
  • Thank them for any recent votes in support of ACEP priority issues.
  • If you do not know the answer to a question or if they request additional materials, this can be a great opportunity to follow up afterward and/or connect them with ACEP Advocacy staff. Please direct any questions or follow-up to Jeanne Slade in the ACEP DC office at

After the Meeting

  • Immediately after the meeting, debrief with anyone who joined you on how you feel it went, and agree on how and when to follow up.
  • Each person who participated in the meeting should send a personal thank you to the elected official and/or staff you spoke with. This can include follow up information and materials, or a timeline for sharing more information.

Share a summary of the meeting, and the response to your specific ask, with ACEP Advocacy staff at .

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