We don’t need to tell you why advocacy is critical to our profession. As one of ophthalmology’s best and brightest, you’re advocating for each and every patient you see.
But engaging in advocacy, especially at the state and federal levels, early in your career is just as crucial. By starting now, you have the time to build relationships with legislators who are just starting out their national political careers and those who are already established.
We also do need to remind you that August recess is almost here. The time to plan to participate in our grassroots efforts is now.
During their August legislative break, congressional lawmakers will return home to connect with constituents about important issues affecting the district. Many constituent meetings will take place to help set the stage for fall’s legislative priorities.
Don’t let your meeting get placed on the backburner. Sign up today to have the AAO schedule a meeting for you with your congressional representative.
Let the Academy’s Staff Support You
By starting now, you’ll get the full benefit of Academy support for your meeting. We’ll take your suggested dates and times that work for your schedule and handle the rest. That includes Academy staff:
- Scheduling your meeting
- Handling logistics with the congressional office
- Providing you with an agenda, talking points and leave-behind documents
In short, everything you need to successfully engage with your lawmakers on your home turf.
Why Advocate at Home?
Meeting locally with your federal lawmakers lets them see firsthand how the Academy’s community of ophthalmologists provides better health outcomes for their constituents. You can help connect the dots between the policies they write and the work you’re doing in the field.
Meeting with your legislator during the August recess has other benefits, too. You reinforce that you’re a constituent, not a random lobbyist. You’ll have the full attention of legislators and their staff in a comfortable, familiar setting. And if you follow up with a visit to Washington, D.C., during another part of the year, you’ll have the advantage of knowing that your legislator will be more likely to remember you and your issues.
One such opportunity is during the Academy’s annual Mid-Year Forum in April. Consider attending Congressional Advocacy Day next year, April 22-23. Put it on your calendar, now.
Here’s how to get started:
- Fill out our online form to sign up for in-district congressional advocacy.
- Read our step-by-step guide on how to set up and have a successful meeting with your member of Congress.
- Review additional resources like talking points and issues briefs on the issues we’re promoting this year. This will help you prepare and share this information as needed.
Academy staff is just an email or phone call away. If you have any questions about advocacy at home or how to navigate the scheduling process, contact Megan Tweed, the Academy’s grassroots coordinator at 202.737.6662 or email@example.com.