Dear Addy: Inviting Legislators to Your Event

Dear Addy,
My local organization is hosting a few events this fall and I’d like to invite our U.S. Representative to attend. How do I send them an invitation?
Active Constituent

Dear Constituent,
This is a timely question, as mid-term elections are a few months away and members of the House of Representatives and Senators seeking re-election will be heading to their home districts and looking to interact with their constituents as much as possible. Use these tips to extend an invitation:

  • If you haven’t already, contact your local organization first to discuss inviting your legislator.
  • Call your legislator’s D.C. office, briefly explain your reason for calling, and ask for the scheduler’s information. The D.C. office is a good place to start, even for events in your home state; they’ll give you information for the person who handles requests in the district or state. Use the “Find my Legislator” tool on HFA’s Take Action Center if you need the D.C. office phone number.

    • If you’ve previously met with someone from the legislator’s office, reach out to them first and ask for the scheduler’s information. This may help move your request forward more quickly, especially if you have a relationship with the office.
    • Contact the scheduler at least four weeks prior to the event. As the mid-term election gets closer, your member will likely be very busy attending meetings and events.

  • Email the scheduler and include the following:

    • The reason you’re writing (this should be in your first paragraph).
    • Include detailed, relevant information about the event and who will attend in the second paragraph. If the event will take place in the Representative’s district, emphasize that there will be constituents in attendance.
    • Explain the legislator’s role at the event. Do you want them to speak? Will they receive a tour or hear stories from people with bleeding disorders?
    • Include a brief description of your organization and whom it serves.

  • If you don’t hear from the scheduler after a few weeks, send a follow-up email. Be mindful not to send too many follow-up messages, as they are often swamped with requests.

If your legislator accepts your invitation, great news! If they can’t attend your event this fall, thank them for considering your request and send a follow-up email the next time you have an event or an opportunity for a site visit.
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HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance