At CREDO Action, we believe that through progressive philanthropy and political activism, we can change the world. Our activists stand with us because they believe in the power of people. And they believe that if enough of us stand up and do the right thing, we can tip the scale.
At a district meeting organized by CREDO Action, you have an opportunity to stand up and make your
voice heard. Not only will you build a long-term relationship with your legislator (and the legislator’s staff), but you’ll also be given an opportunity to directly pressure your elected official to do the right thing.
And when voters talk, elected officials listen.
For most district meetings, CREDO Action will have already booked the meeting with your local district office. Since elected officials (especially members of Congress) have very demanding schedules, usually these meetings will be with your legislator’s staff — typically a field representative or district director. Most meetings will also have attendance limits, established by the size of the district office’s meeting space.
Since we organize district meetings all across the country, we rely on our activists to step up and help serve as the local meeting leaders. Meeting leaders serve as the point of contact for other CREDO members attending the meeting, and we also ask our meeting leaders to keep the meeting conversation on topic and on time. Afterwards, we ask for a simple report back (through email or a phone call) and a picture of the group that attended the meeting.
On this page, you’ll find some helpful resources for your next district meeting with CREDO Action. Please take time to read thoroughly, and let us know if you have any questions. You can reach us at email@example.com.
Sample Agenda (Click for downloadable version)
- Greetings/Introductions (10 min)
Invite each attendee to introduce themselves.
- Purpose of the meeting (15 min)
Using the provided talking points, explain why you’re here and why this issue matters to you. Invite others to share as well.
- Ask for your elected official’s stance on the issue (10 min)
If the answer is unsatisfactory, rebuttal using the talking points provided.
- Encourage the staff person to share your concerns with the elected official, and urge the official to stand with her/his constituents (5 min)
- Thank the staff person for taking time to meet with you and ask if they would be willing to take a picture of the group (5 min)
Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your district meeting with CREDO Action:
- Thoroughly review the provided talking points before the meeting and print a copy to bring with you. If you have additional questions, reach out to your local meeting leader, or contact CREDO Action at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- But don’t sweat memorizing all the facts. The most important thing for you to say is why the issue matters to you and/or your family.
- Practice what you intend to say in advance. If everyone shows up with a clear and concise statement prepared, the meeting will be much more efficient and effective.
- If possible, arrive 15 minutes early to meet other CREDO Activists outside of the office before the meeting begins. This will also make sure you have plenty of time to find the district office and get through security.
- Speaking of security, since many district offices are located in federal buildings, you may have to go through it. Please plan accordingly by leaving unnecessary items (especially metal items) at home.
- Unless otherwise asked, please also leave your video cameras at home. This is a constituent meeting, not a press event. Staff members may choose to end the meeting if attendees insist on recording.
- Be respectful. Whether you’re meeting with your elected official or your legislator’s staff, the meeting will run much better if the tone stays professional.
- Stay on schedule. Identify up front how long the meeting will run and adjust as necessary. Use the sample agenda as a guide. And make sure you reserve enough time to thoroughly address the ASK (In other words, the reason you’re there. What you want your elected official to do).
- Feel free to push back on an answer that doesn’t satisfy your question. But be polite when you do it.
- Don’t assume that the staff (or even your legislator) is incredibly educated on the issue at hand. Usually legislation is tackled by staff in Washington DC, not staff working in district offices.
- Remember, it’s the district office’s job to serve constituents. As a voter, your voice is powerful and your opinion matters.
Meeting Leaders (Click for downloadable version)
What’s a CREDO Action Meeting Leader?
Since CREDO Action hosts many district meetings with key legislators all across the country, we rely on our most engaged activists (like you) to help make sure these meetings are organized and productive for our activists and for district office staff.
Requirements of a CREDO Action Meeting Leader:
- Able to attend the meeting
- Willing to answer questions from CREDO Members prior to the meeting (we’ll share your name and contact info with meeting attendees from your community)
- Comfortable facilitating the meeting and keeping conversation on topic
- Have access to a camera and can get a picture of the group attending the meeting
- Willing to report back on who attended and what happened
Helpful Meeting Leader Checklist:
Before the meeting:
- Familiarize yourself with the provided talking points
- Promptly answer any questions that attendees may submit to you prior to the meeting (If you don’t know an answer, contact email@example.com)
- Make sure your camera is charged and working
At the meeting:
- Arrive early to greet and introduce yourself to other CREDO members
- Be comfortable with directions in case a member cannot find the office
- Facilitate introductions to the office staff
- Keep conversation on topic and focused on the provided talking points
- Make sure you respect everyone’s time by sticking to the provided sample agenda
- Encourage discussion about the staff person’s answers (be direct, but polite)
- Thank the office staff for taking time to meet with you
- Get a picture of the group (even if it’s just from your cell phone)
- Thank CREDO members for attending and for being such great activists
After the meeting:
- Report back details of the meeting to CREDO Action (number of attendees, memorable quotes, what the staff said, where the elected official stands)
- Send the picture taken from the meeting to CREDO Action