Through the years, there have been amazing examples of people getting creative in how they engage a member of Congress in advocacy. A couple of our favorites:
- One person got their leader to support a bill by engaging lots of people which eventually led to connecting with the woman who babysat the Senator when he was a kid. The babysitter was more than happy to reach out to the Senator. Even after entering Congress, having your babysitter tell you to help the poor has a lot of influence and the Senator ended up supporting the bill.
- Another person managed to find out who their Senator’s dentist was. The person engaged the dentist in the bill that was being blocked by the Senator (PEPFAR). The dentist brought the bill up to the Senator who had a change of heart on the subject while his teeth were being worked on.
That might be powerful, but members of Congress are some of the most accessible people in the country. They are constantly traveling in their district, speaking at multiple events a day.
The Rule of Proximity
This is a very simple concept, but people tend to go to places near them. You can find out where a leader’s district office is and even where they live (goes without saying, but don’t ever stop their home). You can safely assume, that the coffee shops, restaurants, gas stations, etc. are frequented by the leader and/or their staff. With that knowledge you can begin to create a Borgen Project/public support for global poverty presence in that area. Tactics might include posting fliers in those areas, meeting as many people as possible who work at those businesses.
Tips for Researching
- Read old articles on the leader. Human interest articles that profile the leader (stories about their life) can be very insightful. This is where you often find tidbits about their favorite coffee shop, civic club, etc.
- Monitor their sites. Follow the news/blogs on their campaign site as well as official Congress site.
- Monitor their social media. Read far back through old tweets to determine places they frequently speak at. Leaders often announce where they’re heading as well “Can’t wait to meet with Billings Rotary.”
Common Public Record Info that you can Gather: Office location, spouse/family names, religion, church, age, address, college, campaign contributors.
Helpful Research Tools: