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Prior to the visit

  • ​Call to schedule the appointment as far in advance as possible. Contact the official’s personal assistant to set up the meeting. Utilize periods of recess or adjournment as an excellent time to be able to meet with officials.
  • When making the appointment, be very clear about the purpose of the meeting and state the issues or legislator you are interested in discussing.
  • Identify the names, addresses and affiliations of other meeting attendees. If there is a change in the attendees, notify the office in advance.
  • If the official is unable to meet with you, ask to meet with the staff person handling the issue.
  • Confirm the meeting date and time and names of attendees in writing. Include some background information on the issue you will be discussing during the meeting.
  • Do your research. Learn as much as you can about the official before the meeting. Educate yourself on his or her background, political philosophy, and any activities or groups with which he or she may be involved. Find out how many community associations are in his district.
  • Fully understand the issue you will be discussing and be ready to counter opposition. Determine what types of questions may be asked and develop answers to those questions.
  • Prepare for the meeting. Determine the role you and other attendees will play and who will say what. Develop one-page position papers clearly explaining CAI’s views and positions. Make several copies of the position papers for distribution at your meetings.
  • Be prepared for your meeting to be cancelled or delayed. Officials’ schedules are often changed due to urgent meetings, hearings or votes. Be flexible if an official is not able to meet with you. Ask to meet with a staff person responsible for the issue.

During the visit >>​

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