Dear Addy,

My district elected a new member of Congress in the mid-term election and I鈥檇 like to start building a relationship with them. How can I connect with my legislator as they prepare to take office?

Proactive Advocate

Dear Proactive,

It鈥檚 never too early to start building a relationship with your new legislator. Whether on the campaign trail or after an election, it鈥檚 important that your legislator know who you are and what you care about. Health care was a top issue for voters in the 2018 mid-term election so your legislators should be paying close attention to constituent stories about access to care.

Newly elected legislators are in the process of hiring staff and setting up the platforms they鈥檒l use to communicate with constituents. Until everything is set up, use your legislator鈥檚 campaign website and social media to reach out. Campaign staff can put you in contact with the new legislator鈥檚 staff as they are hired. Use HFA鈥檚 Legislative Day Toolkit for support with your outreach and monitor HFA鈥檚 Take Action Center for updates on contact information.

Now is a good time to brush up on your civic education as well. If you want to know more about what your legislator does, check out Congressional Management Foundation鈥檚 Job Description for a Member of Congress. This is a great guide to understanding your legislator鈥檚 role.

If your current legislator is leaving Congress and you previously developed a relationship with their office, consider sending them a thank you note before the 115th Congress concludes on Jan. 3, 2019. You never know what your legislator may do after their time in office!



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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 鈥淒ear Addy.鈥 Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.

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