Global Laser Talk January 2010

Laser Talk Dialogue: Requesting a Face-to-Face with a Member of Congress

Rep’s office: Hello, this is Representative ________’s office. How can I help you?

Activist: Hi, may I please speak to the scheduler?

Rep’s office: May I tell him/her who is calling?

Activist: Yes, this is a constituent, ________, from RESULTS in ________.

Scheduler: This is _________.

Activist: Hi, _________, this is _________ from RESULTS in _________. Happy New Year. I’m calling to schedule a meeting with the Congressman/woman here in the district. We have been working with Representative _________ and his/her aide for foreign affairs in DC for a period of time now. We are a volunteer group and we represent an ever-growing body of people in our community who are concerned about global poverty. We are particularly concerned about what global poverty means for us as a nation in regard to our moral standing in the world, our security, and our economic prosperity.

We would like to meet with the Congressman/woman as soon as possible about some very specific ways he/she can represent his/her constituency on microcredit, basic education, and global health. When do you think we can get in to see him/her? The earlier the better, because the 2010 decision-making process on these issues has already begun.

Scheduler: the Representative’s schedule is very full. I could schedule you to meet with the Community Outreach Director in the district.

Activist: It would be fine if the Community Outreach Director is present at the meeting, but we really need some face time with Representative _________. We’re thinking we might ask (the aide) _________ to join us in person or by phone or video conference as well.

Scheduler: The Congressman/woman is booked pretty far out, so I can’t guarantee anything. We’ll put you on the list of people who want to meet with him/her the next time he’s/she’s in the district.

Activist: Do you know when that will be? And how long is that list?

Scheduler: He’ll/she’ll be home during February. I really don’t know how long the list is. Can you please fax or e-mail me a written request for this meeting?

Activist: Sure, I can send you a written request. What is your fax number and e-mail address? (Scheduler gives information....)

Activist: Also, I want to let you know that we would be willing to meet on short notice if a time opens up that you weren’t expecting. Of course Representative _________ would be able to meet a broader base of his/her constituents if we have some advance notice for the meeting. Thanks so much for your help. I’ll send you the written request today and follow up with you — is next week a good time?