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The 116th U.S. Congress is Underway!

Even though the federal government is partially shut down, members of the 116th Congress are working. With so many new faces in the halls of Congress, now is a perfect time to introduce yourself to your lawmakers and make them an ally for heart health and overall healthy living.

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Developing relationships with your elected officials is vitally important if we want to achieve our goals.

Creating new friends in Congress can seem challenging, but if you remember these three things it’s easy!

  • Members of Congress are elected to serve you.
  • They want to hear from you and value your opinions.
  • They have friendly staff whose sole job is to listen to constituent concerns.

We know that most of you will not live near Washington D.C. and cannot simply stop by their offices. But there are many ways you can get involved at the federal level without coming to D.C. that can have BIG impacts.

Easy ways to get involved and encourage federal lawmakers to promote a heart healthy lifestyle include:

  • Identifying your federal officials using our handy member look-up tool and visiting their website to find their contact information.
  • Connecting with your lawmakers on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Emailing your lawmakers to introduce yourself and let them know what issues are important to you.
  • Calling your lawmakers to introduce yourself and let staff know that you want them to make healthy living a priority.
  • Stopping by your member of Congress’ local office which is often mere minutes from your house to let them know you’re a proud advocate for the American Heart Association. You can encourage staff to remember people like you when they make decisions back in Washington. Feel free to use one of these forms to make an even more memorable expression.
  • Attending an event hosted by your lawmaker. When federal lawmakers are not in DC, they are often hosting public events like community dinners, town hall meetings, etc and these are great places to ask questions and face time directly with elected officials.

Pro-tip: After you speak to lawmakers or staff, it is important to remember that like every relationship, it takes time to develop. Following up on an issue and being in constant communication with an office is a great place to start!

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