Note for this month’s Initial PDA Congressional Liaison Activity
By Alan Minsky, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America
PDA is launching its Congressional Liaison Program in the first week of February 2021 with a series of regional organizing meetings
In this first month, we are asking liaisons to complete only the basic first-steps of the Congressional outreach program:
– Call your local congressional office. Ask them the best way to send in a letter in support of legislation that has been introduced into Congress;
– Send the letter to your local Congressional office;
– Follow up with a phone call confirming that it has been received (if they say that it hasn’t been received, resend the letter and follow up accordingly until they confirm that it has been received)
– Complete your monthly report and send it back to PDA
Then, next month, we will ask the liaisons to set up a meeting with a Congressional staffer at the local office by following these steps:
Suggestions for setting up your first PDA liaison meeting
Since in-person office visits are not available during the COVID pandemic, here’s what we recommend for initial meetings – and future meetings – with your local Congressional office staffers and/or with the Representative her/himself during the pandemic:
- Call your local Congressional Office
- Cordially explain that you are a constituent and that you would…
- …like to set up a digital meeting in the next few days with the appropriate staffer, or with the Member of Congress herself/himself, to discuss a piece of legislation that you would like the Congressmember to support?
- After setting up the meeting time, ask how you can best send in a letter in support of the legislation in advance of the meeting?
- Thank them for their assistance
At the digital meeting (via Zoom or another meeting platform), you should make a brief presentation about the legislation you are advocating for; and ask if the Congressperson will co-sponsor this month’s legislation (as well as another piece of legislation if you are highlighting a second piece of legislation that month).
Also, at the first meeting, you should introduce the idea of the PDA liaison program to the staffer or Congressperson, explaining that you or another PDA liaison will be coming by every month to advocate for new legislation, as well as following up about the legislation you are featuring today. Before leaving the office, ask about the protocol for setting up a meeting next month – and, of course, thank everyone cordially.
Then, file your monthly report with PDA about your digital visit.