Put a face on childhood cancer! While your Senators and Representatives are in Washington the majority of time, they are in their district offices very often When they are in their district office, it is a great time for you to make an impact on your legislators by putting a face on childhood cancer and showing how all children, adolescents and young adults can benefit from good legislation for which you wish to solicit their support. For example, if you are interested in this particular bill you can check here and see if they have cosponsored yet: GovTrack which is a great free tool to use to search infomaiton on any legislation of your choice and its supportors.
Every Senator and Representative has one or more offices back home in their state or district to serve the people they represent in Washington. Some Senators have as many as 6 offices located through out their state. These local offices are great places to meet your Senators, Representatives and their staffs in person. Most legislators are very eager to talk to as many of their constituents as possible about their concerns, but do to scheduling may not be able to meet in person and you will be scheduled to meet with a staff member who will relate your concerns to the legislator.
Here’s some quick and easy tips on how to schedule a visit and make a successful presentation of why their support is so important to our children in the fight against childhood cancer.
Schedule an appointment. You can write and request a district meeting or you can simply call. To insure that you will be able to meet with your Senator, or Representative, check the dates available at the bottom of this page and call well in advance. To contact your legislator’s local office, click and enter your state or zip code where requested. Click here for Senator information. Click here for House of Representatives. Tell the staff person you want to schedule a meeting and which office location would be best for you.
Explain the purpose of your meeting. Tell the scheduler that you would like to discuss a bill that will have a effect on childhood cancer. For example use informaiton like this: “S.1521 The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act 2.0 will extend a very successful kids’ cancer research program and valuable Data Resource Center.”
Tell YOUR child’s story. When you go to the district meeting, tell your personal story, show a photo or take your child with you and demonstrate why improved drug development would help or would have helped your child. There have only been six drugs developed specifically for childhood cancers while adults have more than two hundred.
Print out materials to leave behind. Here is an example: Print this out and leave it with your legislator. No matter what legislation you are interested in, Always Leave a Print Out that you can hand them. Use it as the outline of your presentation. Take additional supporting evidence of the important points of your presentation if it would be helpful. Show a list of supporting childhood cancer advocacy organizations that also support your bill.
Ask for their commitment. Ask them to cosponsor the bill that you want passed to improve outcomes for children with cancer.
Remember that you may not be able to speak with the Senator or Congressman/woman and you should treat their staff person with the same respect you would if you were meeting the official directly.
Here is a handy guide to know when your Representative and Senators are going to be back home. Blue=Senate only in session, Green=House only in session, Yellow= Both House and Senate are in session. The days that are Not Highlighted are the days they will not be in their Washington, DC office.
2023 Congressional Calendar
Author: Joe Baber