Member Pipeline - Legislative - Congressional Contact Tips

Congressional Connection Link

Tips on Contacting a Member of Congress

1.  Writing a Letter

2. Contact

3. Form of Delivery

4. Meeting

5. Follow Up


Capitol Hill Meetings - What to Expect


Critical "Dos & Don'ts"


  1. Do express appreciation to the person you are visiting for the time spent and the opportunity to meet.
  2. Do take the time to know who you are talking to, what they do and what their concerns and priorities might be.
  3. Do know the reason for your visit and couch your presentation in those terms.
  4. Do be prepared and equipped to state the reason for your visit; if you want an action taken, describe what action should be taken and when, to or for whom, and why.
  5. Do focus your presentation on issues you know well.
  6. Don't be surprised by lack of interest or a negative reaction.
  7. Don't respond or be argumentative to a negative reaction.


AMSA Specific

  1. Do be aware if your representative is a member of a key Congressional Committee or the Water Infrastructure Caucus (WIC).
  2. Do emphasize your support for the legislation and communicate to your representative the significant environmental improvements that have and/or will take place.
  3. Do emphasize your unique perspective as an environmental practitioner. Only you can provide firsthand knowledge and expertise "from the trenches".
  4. Do emphasize regional and local implementation of broad federal water quality goals as an approach that will allow unique geographic programs to be addressed in a manner that provides maximum environmental benefits.
  5. Do support control of pollution using a comprehensive watershed management approach in which contributions of pollutants from all sources can be measured and the most cost-effective measures employed to reduce pollutants to a level where receiving water standards are met.
  6. Don't suggest that POTWs have done their share and should be left alone. Instead, explain that while POTW control measures should continue, point source discharges are becoming an ever decreasing percentage of total pollutant loadings to the Nation's waters, thus the need for the comprehensive watershed approach.
  7. Do support substantial increases in federal funding opportunities.
  8. Do suggest that enforceable nonpoint source controls are needed to achieve real watershed improvement.
  9. Do offer the experience and expertise of your agency and the AMSA National Office as a technical resource.