August is almost here. For many that means trips to the beach, picking the kids up at summer camp or getting them ready to go back to school. For Members of Congress, it means August recess is coming!
It is more than just a reason to escape the humid DC summers. August recess is a 4–6-week period when members return to do district or state work. It’s a time when they may host community dinners or townhalls and spend time in their local offices meeting with constituents to learn about what issues are important to them. This year, we expect lawmakers to be attending even more public events and meet with even more constituents due to the upcoming midterm elections.
Since August recess is an ideal time to meet with your lawmakers to promote heart healthy legislation, we are encouraging advocates to contact their lawmakers’ offices and request a meeting. It is much easier to do than you think. While it may seem intimidating to call an elected officials’ office and request a meeting (in person or virtual), know that is their job, and that they are eager to hear from you.
By meeting with lawmakers and staff outside of Washington, D.C., you normally will have the chance for a longer meeting and more opportunities to talk about the issues you care about.
Pro-Tip: In addition to meeting with constituents in their district offices or virtually, many lawmakers will participate in community events leading up to Labor Day, like picnics, parades and even state/county fairs! Make sure you attend and try to grab their attention. Even these informal meetups can make a BIG difference for heart and stroke health!
How can you participate? Follow these steps.
• Find your members of Congress’ local office. You can use our handy member look-up tool if you are not sure who represents you in Congress. Then go to their website to find their district office locations.
• Fill out the contact form on their website and request a meeting (in person or virtual) or stop by the office and introduce yourself to the staff. Let them know you’re a proud American Heart Association You’re the Cure advocate and you hope they remember people like you when they make decisions back in Washington.
• You can also email me directly at [email protected] and we can talk next steps.
Don’t know what AHA issues to talk about in a meeting or office drop by?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! This August we are encouraging our advocates to talk to lawmakers about child nutrition reauthorization. Members of Congress are actively working on this issue (there is a committee vote in the House today, 7/27!) and it is very timely as kids will soon go back to school. The science is clear, the food we serve our kids impacts their ability to learn and reach their full potential. Advocating for increased access to healthy school meals and improving the nutritional value of the meals we serve can positively impact millions of children and families across the country.
If child nutrition isn’t for you, don’t worry. As you know we are working on many issues that impact health. So, whether it is tobacco control, increasing access to quality and affordable healthcare or increasing health research funding, there are plenty of life-saving conversations you can have with lawmakers.
We hope you will join us and take advantage of the opportunity August recess provides. This is a great way to positively impact your community while building valuable relationships with your members of Congress.
Don’t forget, if you have any questions, want more information about how to get involved or need some help you can always email me directly at [email protected] and I’ll get you what you need.