AIMBE serves a vital mission to recognize excellence and advocate for the fields of medical and biological engineering. AIMBE FLASH regularly keeps Fellows informed on Federal items you Need to Know, Emerging Issues, and Items of Interest. AIMBE ACTion is the resource Fellows use to become an effective advocate. Successful advocacy depends upon establishing strong relationships with elected officials beginning with visiting Congress during AIMBE’s Annual Meeting, invited your lawmaker to visit your lab, attending their local town-hall meetings to raise your issue and regularly sending emails with your concerns and comments. Getting involved can be fun and personally rewarding. AIMBE provides the tools and resources to make it easy.
Send email requesting an appointment with the lawmaker to discuss (insert topic). Identify yourself as a local constituent living in lawmaker’s district and indicate if you will be alone or accompanied by others. Specify your availability (Tuesday early afternoon) and provide a phone and email contact. Make sure to inform your organization’s Congressional Affairs office. An office receives many request so remember to send a follow-up if you done receive a timely response.
Identify a single ASK (what are you asking of your lawmaker) and prepare a maximum of three points that support your request. Drafting your talking points will help you focus your thoughts and keep your message short. Avoid talking politics.
Arrive on time (or early) and be prepared if meeting starts late. Don’t be upset if an appointment with your lawmaker is moved to a staffer. Provide introduction and get right to your purpose and ASK. Don’t let your short appointment (usually 15 minutes) get sidetracked to current news or local sports. Provide no more than three supporting point and avoid statistics or complex details. Demonstrate the connection of your message with the interest of the lawmaker’s home district — relate to a local person, project or jobs. Lawmakers and staff remember images far better than numbers.
Don’t do all the talking. Listen and make sure you localize your message. Ask for the lawmaker’s /staff thoughts or opinions but avoid questions that can be answered with yes or no. Ask for specific steps the lawmaker is willing to take to achieve your request. If responses are not specific, ask the lawmaker/staff for a follow-up response. Remember to get a photo.
Provide a timely thank you note, reiterating your message and key points. If you requested a follow-up remind they you are seeking their response. Share your visit with your organization’s Congressional Affairs office.