Tips to Prepare for Your August Recess Meetings

Council and chapter leaders play a critical role in furthering MOAA’s legislative objectives. Your voice is essential because legislators want to hear from you, their constituents. While legislators are in their home offices during August recess, schedule a visit and meet face-to-face. Some elected legislators might even welcome an opportunity to address an entire chapter.

Preparation for this meeting is key to its success. Here are some tips:

  • Familiarize yourself with MOAA’s positions on significant issues that might arise. Visit http://capwiz.com/moaa/home/ for legislative campaigns, contact information for elected officials, and much more.
  • Know a legislator’s position on those issues, and be aware of committee assignments and major legislation in which the legislator has shown particular interest. Call MOAA’s Member Service Center at (800) 234-MOAA (6622) or email legis@moaa.org for the latest status on an issue, a legislator’s cosponsorship status, and advice on how you might approach a legislator on a particular issue.
  • Make sure a legislator understands the purpose of a visit before a meeting. Every lawmaker deals with a wide variety of legislative issues and cannot be expected to be an expert on every one of them.
  • Become acquainted with the legislator’s local office staff, especially those with responsibility in areas of interest to MOAA members. Don’t consider it a put-down if you don’t get to visit a legislator in person. They are busy and rely on staff for advice.
  • If a meeting with a legislator involves a chapter visit, reserve time for a question-and-answer period. Provide a legislator with advance notice of the kinds of questions or issues he or she should be prepared to address during a visit. Key questions should be prepared in advance and given to designated chapter members to ensure the session is productive.