Aug 12, 2019

How to Engage with Your Legislators This August Recess

August recess often gets a bad rap for being the month each year that Congress takes a break from D.C.—and its legislative work.  However, it’s also the time when most lawmakers participate in community activities and spend time meeting with constituents.  In August, they can leave the confines of Capitol Hill, put faces to the issues they consider in Congress, and hear what’s on the minds of the people they represent.   

It’s also the perfect moment for all of us to engage with our lawmakers and tell them we’re ready and eager for a Congress that works. Change often starts at the grassroots level in towns and cities across America. With institutional change on the horizon through the House Modernization Committee, it’s important that we, the American people, bolster this effort and express that Congress desperately needs a makeover. Here are ways to constructively engage with your legislators—and be an active participant in improving our democracy—this August recess:

  1. Sign up for your legislators’ newsletters to find out if your member of Congress is hosting a townhall, tele-townhall, or event in the district. 
  2. Request a meeting with your member of Congress or a staff member in his or her district office to discuss why change is needed in Washington. 
  3. Write a letter or email to your member of Congress showing support for the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. 
  4. Tweet your member of Congress encouraging his or her support for the Modernization Committee—and encourage your friends to join in. Here’s a sample tweet to use: “@[MEMBER HANDLE], the @ModernizeCmte recently passed its second set of recommendations, which would enable Congress to work better for our district and the American people. I ask for your support for the Committee to create a #CongressThatWorks”  
  5. Call into talk radio shows or write a letter to the editor in your local paper expressing the need for a revitalized Congress and ask your friends to do the same. 
  6. Follow Congress That Works and the Modernization Committee on Twitter and spread the word on why we need a Congress that works. 
  7. Tweet members of the committee – and your member of Congress – your ideas for congressional reform.

With just over four months left until the end of 2019—and the work of the Modernization Committee—we’re on the cusp of having a Congress that works better for all of us, but we can’t get there unless we engage with our lawmakers to urge congressional reform. This August recess, let’s seize on the opportunity to do just that — and, together, create a Congress that works.  

Is Congress Working for You?