Top 10 Rules for Working with Congress

Members of Congress hear from thousands of constituents and organizations. Because their time is limited, it is important to develop a plan, craft your message carefully and stay on track when you contact your member of Congress or congressional staff.

  1. Know your goal.
  2. Understand how Congress works and makes decisions.
  3. Conduct detailed background research.
  4. Use your knowledge of the legislative process to determine the timing of your course of action.
  5. Be clear and succinct.
  6. Understand congressional staff and their influence.
  7. Provide concrete suggestions.
  8. Present support of science as a means to meet national and local goals.
  9. Be willing to say “I don’t know.”
  10. Follow up appropriately.