Today marks the start of the month-long recess in Congress. Things may be slowing down here in Washington, but around the country some lawmakers have a busy few weeks planned. August is prime time for town hall meetings. Everyday I send out alerts for town halls, mobile office hours, and campaign events. Little may be going on in Washington, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact this month.
Face-to-face interactions with your member of Congress are no doubt the most powerful statement you can make as a concerned constituent. “Mobile office hours” or “constituent office hours” are also great ways to get your voice heard. Although you may not talk directly to your Congressman or Senator, you get the full attention of their most trusted staffers during these office hours. Finally, town halls on social media sites are also a good way of getting your message out there.
I would like to share some feedback we have gotten from our members during the month of July and I encourage you to join your fellow NumbersUSA activists in getting involved - whether it be a phone call, office visit, or town hall meeting. The more constituents we can get out to offices and town halls, the bigger impact we make on lawmakers.
You may not always get the answer you want from a member of Congress or their staff and it might be frustrating. But, please don’t get discouraged. Just the fact that you took the time out of your day to make a statement will resonate with your Congress member, and they will keep your concerns in mind.
With enough activists reminding Congress members whom they work for, we can truly make a difference. Congressional staff members say time and time again that the voters have the most impact on members of Congress— not the lobbyists, not the parties – but the people who put them in office.
July 27— OFFICE HOURS: California Congress member
From Stephen: "Talked with the young man who came up from the local district office. I was a bit disappointed that I was the only one who showed up to talk with him and suggested a few ideas about how to get the work out about these meetings so more people could participate. None of our friends knew about it and some of them are very active locally.
The young man didn't have any knowledge of the Congressman’s actions on immigration. He's mainly involved with VA and social security help for locals. I gave him materials from NumbersUSA.com about the D they gave the Congressman on his lack of action regarding immigration reform, amnesties, etc. and he said he would forward it to the Washington, D. C. office along with some of my other thoughts. He's also going to put me on the call list for meetings in the future as well.
I hope I'll hear some response from the Congressman’s staff about the Numbers USA materials I provided. Immigration reform, enforcement of current immigration laws, closing our borders, etc. are big issues with me and many of those I interact with in this area. We'd like to know that the Congressman supports our positions with actions, as we've supported him with our votes."
From Cynthia: "He was very surprised to hear my issue was immigration. He was surprised that everyone that he was talking to seems to be focused on Immigration. I didn't tell him of your email prompting us to go and speak to them in person. I was very happy your email told me when and where I could meet with them because I didn't know of that time at the library each month. I will try to be a regular there.
All the Congressman is doing to get water to farmers and jobs for Californians is for not if we don't stop illegal aliens from taking it all.
He was very nice and took lots of notes. I pray the Congressman will do what he promised me he would do when I met him at a Tea Party rally just before we elected him. I asked him what he would do about illegal immigration and he said it was his priority to close the borders and stop giving our resources away so California can get back to work and prosperity."
July 24 —TOWN HALL: New York Congress member
From Louis: "It was pointed out to the Congressman that his actions and report card by NumbersUSA just didn't add up to his feelings about the Illegal aliens in this country. He really felt that NumbersUSA did not take into account the possibilities of the number of actions he has taken to support the reduction of illegal aliens. In other words he tried to BS us and didn't get away with it!"
July 24 — OFFICE HOURS: Senator
From Diane: "Hi Melanie, I answered yes because I wanted to let you know that none of the town halls were near me but that I did talk by phone to a staffer in her office about the immigration numbers from your alert. I really appreciate your efforts and depend on your emails and I almost always contact my reps. I have not been completely happy with my Senator but she was far better than her opponent. Thanks for keeping her on her toes. God bless you, NumbersUSA, and America!"
July 16 — OFFICE HOURS: Kansas Congress member
From Marie: "Yes I attended and provided his staff person with his voter record and the requested survey that you provided. She assured me that he was concerned about the immigration situation and would have her boss contact your office to explain his position and what he is doing."
July 11 — TOWN HALL: Indiana Congress member
From Horton: "Well, other than the fact that the Congressman left us feeling a little less than satisfied, he did engage us about immigration and wanted more information about NumbersUSA. He did not answer for his abysmal record!"
July 10 — OFFICE HOURS: Minnesota Congress member
From Ray: "It apparently was not a "town hall", since the Congressman was not there~ only his local staff. Also I was the only one there! However, his staff member and I had a nice 45-minute chat. I do not think he will co-sponsor the Halt Act, but I think he supports border security through a fence and E-Verify. I told them that he needed to become more outspoken on many issues. We will have to wait and see."
What you can do...
I try to send out alerts for every town hall, but some Congress members' offices do a good job at keeping town halls under the radar. You can always call your member's office and ask about upcoming town halls, and let us know about them! Contact the help desk and we will try to get more activists out to the event.
If there are no town halls coming up, drop by the local Congressional office with some information about NumbersUSA and your member's gradecard. You might even be lucky enough to run into your Congress member at his/her office during this month.
Once again, feedback is so important! Please keep us informed on anything you hear about immigration from your member of Congress and keep up the great work!
MELANIE OUBRE is the Local Activism Coordinator for NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, Jul 5th 2017 @ 4:22pm EDT