Each year in August, lawmakers return home for the summer recess and convene district workweeks. That means you have the opportunity to meet with members in their local offices, attend fund-raisers nearby or participate in a town hall. This is where our strength as a membership organization can benefit us most. We have real physicians and patients who are voters. This is your opportunity to talk to lawmakers without the usual Washington distractions, as the constituents they are meant to serve.
RheumPAC will be sending several ACR members to local fund-raisers throughout the month. This is a great opportunity for direct face time with a lawmaker and to let your lawmaker know of the ACR’s two pieces of legislation in Congress. If you would like to attend an event on behalf of the ACR, please contact the ACR’s staff.
Scheduling a visit at a local office or inviting a lawmaker to tour your practice also can be simple. Just plug in your ZIP code on the ACR’s Legislative Action Center page and click on info, then view contact information for the lawmaker you would like to contact. Call the office and see if you can arrange a time to meet. Note that often important staff are in the district during this time, and a meeting with them can be equally as valuable.
Before you get started, make sure to visit the ACR’s advocacy page. The ACR has issued policy statements for 2015 that lay out positions and work plans for the range of issues affecting the rheumatology community. The policy statements are generated by the Government Affairs Committee and have been approved by the ACR Board of Directors. Once you know more about the applicability of issue(s), don’t hesitate to weigh in with your lawmaker.