Follow these tips and we’ll take care of the rest.
The Legislative & Policy Forum puts the aggregates industry face-to-face with lawmakers who have direct influence over the issues that impact daily operations.
At this year’s event, Sept. 25-27, in Washington, D.C., NSSGA will provide everything you need to have a positive meeting with lawmakers and their staff. The association has transportation to meetings covered, a guide to help you navigate the halls of Congress and fact sheets to leave with members of Congress.
Find out what to expect during a meeting with members of Congress right now in the latest episode of the NSSGA podcast, Face to Face with Congress. John Hay, senior vice president of government affairs at CRH Americas Materials, and Laura O’Neill Kaumo, senior vice president of government affairs at NSSGA, talk about how to prepare for successful meetings on Capitol Hill.
- Don’t be intimidated In the NSSGA podcast, Hay emphasized that meetings with constituents are critical to a member of Congress’ role. “The number one thing is to not be intimidated,” he said. “These are your representatives. They are elected by you.”
- Get to know the issues NSSGA has a list of regulations that impact operations every day. Take note of any regulations or policies that support or impede your ability to do business, create jobs and produce the materials that build America. Review recent industry and policy news and community relations fact sheets.
- Keep it local In the podcast, O’Neill Kaumo highlighted the importance of framing your story so it’s relevant to the member and their district. Each job in a quarry supports nearly five additional jobs in other industries, and members of Congress need to know the effect that laws and regulations have on jobs in their districts and states. Highlight the negative impact of burdensome regulations and positive effects of a long-term infrastructure investment on the men and women who work in an operation, and the many other jobs in your community that rely on aggregates.
- Tell your story “The staff or the member that you meet with may not know anything about our industry, they may not know what aggregates are,” Hay said. “Be prepared to tell a simple story about what we do. Talk about your business, talk about the number of people you employ and talk about why members of Congress should be interested in the aggregates industry.”
- Meetings are Positive with Members or Their Staff If you meet with a Congressional staff member instead of a member of Congress, your message and delivery should remain the same. Staff are experts in policy areas and directly shape the decisions and viewpoints of the members of Congress they work for. Having a relationship with the member’s office is important to setting up future meetings and events.
- Keep it brief
“Members, when they’re in their Washington offices, are extremely busy,” Hay noted in the podcast. Even short, 15-minute meetings can be effective by focusing on three key aspects:
– The Ask – What do you want from your member of Congress? (Be polite and clear)
– The Why – Why should your member of Congress do this?
– The How – How can your member of Congress do this?
- Exchange contact information Bring business cards and NSSGA one-page issue briefs to leave behind. Be sure you have contact information for the lawmaker’s offices – both in D.C. and his or her local office.
- Say “thank you” As the meeting concludes, thank the lawmaker or their staff member for his or her time.
- Follow up After the meeting, follow up with an email thanking the lawmaker, reiterating your position and include any information requested during the meeting. If a representative, senator or a staff member asks for additional materials, please respond quickly.