Raise Your Voice Locally

Meetings at a state or district office of your Member of Congress can be a particularly effective way to convey Fulbright’s message. Both the Member and his or her staff in Washington pay close attention to information passed to them from their local offices. If you have already utilized the handcrafted letter tool to a Congressman’s Washington office, a more local meeting is an effective follow-up. While a meeting with the Member him or herself is certainly desirable, you will more realistically be able to meet with a staffer; this is not an undesirable outcome — the Member relies greatly on his or her staffers, so informing them is often the best way to get your information heard.

Setting up a Meeting

Check the House legislative calendar to determine when your Representative will be at home in the district, and the Senate legislative calendar to see when your Senators will be back in your state.

Second, call the state or district office and ask for the staff member who works on international/foreign affairs issues. If there is no staffer assigned to international issues, ask to speak with the office director.

The address and phone number of the state or district office can be found on the Member’s website. Use the links below to find your Members of Congress’ websites:

Housewww.house.gov/representatives/
Senatehttp://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

Then, clearly explain who you are and the purpose of the meeting you are requesting: i.e., you wish to follow up on your recent letter and to meet with the Member or a staffer to discuss Fulbright in the district/state and its impact on constituents.

What to Bring

Be sure to leave behind information on the Fulbright program after the meeting. This material should focus on Fulbright’s economic impact, its cultural importance and the work of alumni. The information should be easily digestible.

What to Discuss

As with the handcrafted letter, discussion should focus on the impact of Fulbright in your district or state, and the value constituents in the area place in the program.

Focus on the two or three most salient points to emphasize, e.g. Fulbright’s economic impact in your state and its contribution to US national security. If the individual has any kind of international exchange experience it is still relevant, even if it was not with the Fulbright program.

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