By Bread Staff
Meeting new members of Congress is an important way to establish relationships that can build political will to end hunger. Lawmakers elected in November are still getting their bearings.
A dedicated group of Bread members from Seattle, Wash., meet each month and write letters to their members of Congress on the most pressing issues of the moment. They also partner with other local groups who are also working to make ending hunger and poverty priorities with our elected officials.
Meeting face-to-face with your lawmaker can seem daunting, but a few tips will help you have a productive meeting and meaningful experience.
Bread team member Sharon D’Amico says preparation is key. After explaining what Bread for the World does and giving examples of how advocacy has made an impact, D’Amico advises to ask what we can do for the congressperson. “They probably don’t get asked that much,” she says. “And some have been pleasantly surprised by the question.”
Last month, Seattle Bread for the World members joined the Missions Office of the Seattle Archdiocese and Oxfam International to meet with newly elected U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.-07). Bread members Craig Fjarlie, Marcia Olson, and Sharon D’Amico joined Jon Scanlon and Patti Southard of Oxfam International and Kelly Hickman of the Archdiocese of Seattle to discuss criminal justice reform, protecting the safety net, investing in development assistance, and immigration.
We are louder when we organize. Partnering on a local lobby visit is a great way to show a lawmaker that a wide range of constituents care about ending hunger – and a valuable way to build the political will to end it.