Free the People From Corporate Rule!

Completed
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wednesday, August 28 will be a “Day of Action to Free the People from Corporate Rule” at Congressional offices across the country.

The goal is to visibly and measurably increase the pressure on House members to co-sponsor the We the People Amendment (HJR48).

>> READ our Call to Action for August 28!

>> Sign Up to Organize an Action in Your Community!

What's Needed

  • You, and some friends, or your community group if you already belong to one -- organize a demostration/press conference at the nearest office of your member of Congress.

>> Click here to find your Representative if you don't know or if you're not familiar with where their offices are (click their name to go to their website and check their office locations, depending on the size of your district there might be a couple).

  • Invite 3-5 community organizations to speak at your demonstration about how the issues they work on connect with corporate rule and how ending corporate constitutional rights will help "Free the People" they work to protect.

>> Ask the groups to pass a resolution of support in advance that you can bring into the meeting with your Congressperson (MTA National will provide a template)

  • Schedule a meeting with your Congressperson or their staff (Reps should be back home in their District) to happen right after your demonstration/press conference.

>> Plan to go into the meeting with 4-5 other folks from the event and together request they co-sponsor the We the People Amendment (HJR48).

  • Share what happened to reach more people!

>> MTA National will provide a template press release and tips for taking photos and recording the event to help spread the word on social media to folks who were not in attendance.

>> Sign Up to Organize an Action in Your Community!

Resources

Action Planning Webinar

All the details you need to get started planning your action!

View Webinar Slides

Additional Support Webinars:

  • Wednesday, July 17
  • Wednesday, July 24
  • Wednesday, August 7
  • Wednesday, August 21
  • Wednesday, September 4 (report back & debrief)

All support sessions scheduled for 2:00pm Hawaii / 4:00pm Alaska / 5:00pm Pacific / 6:00pm Mtn / 7:00pm Central / 8:00pm Eastern

Click here to RSVP for these meetings (participation in these support calls is strongly encouraged, registration only needed once). 

Suggested Process and Timeline:

July 

1) Create outline of action elements/tactics
2) Assign action roles
3) Send invitations to community partners
4) Schedule meeting with your Rep (we suggest aiming for your rally/demonstration for 12pm noon and your meeting for 1pm)
5) Once meeting is scheduled, request list of petition signers from National - email affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org
6) Start promoting! (flyering, email blasts, social media)

First half of August

1) Follow-ups with invited community partners
2) Visit location & determine material needs
3) Have a promotion plan ()
4) Gather materials (place orders in for MTA swag)
5) KEEP PROMOTING

Second half of August

1) Send Press releases
2) Check in with partners/guest speakers, make sure concepts are clear
3) KEEP PROMOTING - social media and e-blasts

Background on Move to Amend

Check out these resources:

Researching Your Representatives

>> Click here to find your Representative if you don't know who it is.

  • Are they a We the People Amendment co-sponsor? Were they in the last Congress?
     
  • Have they taken Move to Amend's Pledge to Amend?
     
  • What other legislation do they support? (choose their name in the drop down and make sure "sponsor" and "cosponsor" are both selected)
     
  • Who funds your Representative? (enter the name in the search bar)
     
  • Also check their official website to see what they list as their most important priorities -- is there a nexus with corporate power? Do an internet search for their campaign website as well and also check to see if they have a page of endorsing organizations or issues they campaigned on. 

Inviting Community Organizations to Speak at Your August 28 Event

Remember, you have two requests (and of course helping promote the action is appreciated!)

  • Send a speaker to the demonstration
     
  • Pass a resolution of support for the We the People Amendment to present to your Representative at the meeting

Here are materials to help you:

Scheduling Your Meeting with Your Representative

Scheduling of appointments should begin ASAP since your Congressperson's schedule always fills up fast when they are back home. Note that many offices will not confirm a meeting until 1 week out whether you will be able to meet with the Representative themself. A meeting with staff is still very valuable too, don't be discouraged if you don't get the Congressperson. Remember the larger your event the more like the Rep is to make themselves available to personally meet with you.

Get to Know the Name of the Office Scheduler 

The scheduler is typically the only staff member that can schedule a meeting for a member of Congress. However, some offices have a Washington, DC scheduler and a District scheduler. Check your representative’s official website for details on how to contact them. If not, a phone call to the congressional office can secure the name of the scheduler or any other appropriate staff member.

Script for Finding Scheduler Contact Information

“Hi there, I’m calling from the Move to Amend Coalition, and I’m wondering if I could get the name and email address of your scheduler please?”

Submit a Meeting Request with Sufficient Lead Time

Send a formal invitation to the scheduler at least three to four weeks in advance of the proposed visit date. Appointments may either be made by email or by phone. Every office differs in their preferred scheduling process, so please check with them to determine which process to use.

Phone Script

“Hello, my name is [name] from Move to Amend. May I please speak to the in-District scheduler?” (Write down the scheduler’s name. Be sure to get the correct spelling.)

“I am a constituent of Representative / Senator [NAME] and I would like to schedule a meeting with Representative / Senator [NAME] and/or her/his Legislative staff person while [she/he] is in District on August 28. I'd like to discuss the We the People Amendment (currently House Joint Resolution 48) and the importance of addressing the problem of big money in elections and corporate influence over the political and legal process."

"May we do this on the phone, or would you prefer an email or fax?”

At this point, you may either continue, or take down the email address. Although you should make every effort to get a meeting with the legislator, many times you will be referred to the appropriate staff person, e.g., the one who handles legislative or government affairs issues.

If you are able to continue on the phone, let the scheduler know who is coming:

“At this time, the following people will be attending: [list names and affiliations].

We would like to schedule a meeting on August 28 following a demonstration/press conference we will hold in front of your office.”

Note: You may have to contact the office several times before someone returns your call or confirms an appointment. Be persistent and proactive—you are calling as a voting constituent!

Sample Email

Dear [Name of Scheduler],

Volunteers with the national Move to Amend campaign would very much appreciate a meeting on August 28 with [Senator]/[Representative] [Name] and/or [his]/[her] Legislative staff person to discuss the We the People Amendment (currently House Joint Resolution 48) and the importance of addressing the problem of big money in elections and corporate influence over the political and legal process. We are holding a press conference and demonstration outside your office that day and would like to meet with the Representative following the event. 

Thank you so much for your consideration of our request.

Cordially,

[Your name]

Be Prepared to Submit Your Request Multiple Times

Congressional offices receive many requests on a daily basis and often times, communications may be directed to the wrong person. If the Scheduler cannot locate your request, don’t panic. Calmly suggest that you can send the request again. Be sure to be persistent if you don't get a response, and don't just rely on email alone!

Meeting Tips

Visit as a group if possible. The leader should start and conclude the meeting. One group member must take notes and report back the details of each meeting. Make sure you assign this task in your group before you are at the visit!

The constituents are most important. The legislators’ primary concern is whether you can elect him or her into office. If you live in the district you are important. The spokesperson should begin the meeting by identifying himself/herself as a constituent and introducing all participants, and briefly identify your request early in case time runs short.

Cover the priority issue. Now is the time you’ve been waiting for! Tell your story, and explain why passing the We the People Amendment is important to you. Make your remarks brief and to the point. Encourage them to learn more and do more.

Stay on topic. Be careful: a little chit-chat is acceptable, but be sure to stay on topic and not be drawn into storytelling—you’ll never know where the time went! Be concise and stick to the issue at hand, but do not rush the conversation. Don’t make statements that assume that others share your political views and be respectful when talking about all political leaders.

Solicit the legislator’s views on this issue. Review your request and do some research on your legislator. Has your legislator taken the Pledge to Amend? Have they endorsed other amendment measures? If they have shown support for similar measures thank them appropriately and encourage them to sign on to the We the People Amendment. If there is disagreement, avoid arguing with your legislator or their staff. Listen to his/her perspective and then present your views. You will enhance your effectiveness if you can demonstrate a willingness to participate in a friendly exchange of ideas.

Record the questions and responses of your legislator and their staff using the Reporting Form (when the meeting is over you'll want to copy these notes into our online reporting form - this is really important for follow up!)

Conclude your meeting. Make sure your legislator and/or staff has a copy of the briefing information and your primary contact information. Thank them for their time and offer to be a resource to them going forward.

Take a picture! Especially if you are a group, take your picture with your legislator or their staffer -- this is a historic day!

--> As soon as the meeting is over, please fill out the Online Reporting Form to let us know the results of the meeting. 


Meeting Followup

Thank Yous. Send a thank you letter to your Legislator or their staffer following the meeting. Thank the legislator and/or staff person for their time and reiterate your “ask” that they co-sponsor HJR 48. Put this letter in the mail as soon as you get home or mail it before you leave. [Example coming soon!]

Meeting Report Back Forms. The note taker should fill out this form ASAP after the meeting while the details are fresh in your mind. Use the notes from your printed report form(s) to file the online report so the details of your visit are recorded in the Move to Amend database.

Follow Up. One of the most important aspects of a lobby day is the follow up.

It will also be important to follow up 2-4 weeks later if your legislator or their staff person did not give you a clear answer, or gave you a positive answer but then did not follow through with their commitment. Whether this is done by phone or email, or even another in person visit, the staffer and legislator will know you are serious if you follow up. Always be friendly and professional, and offer to provide additional information if it will help them to make a decision.


Lobby Packet

We recommend you put together a folder with the following printed materials to leave with the legislator or staffer (ideally both -- bring a couple copies in case you meet with both staff and the Representative): 


Additional Resources

Citizen Lobbying Resources

Background Resources

Additional Lobbying Resources

Promoting Your Action

  • Half Page Flyer (to use this Google document, make a copy and then enter your specific information in the highlighted areas - you will not be able to edit this file directly)
  • Template press release (to use this Google document, make a copy and then enter your specific information in the highlighted areas - you will not be able to edit this file directly)

Get Creative

>> Make sure you SIGN UP to organize an action so that we can connect you with other MTA supporters in your area!

 

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