Government affairs

Legislative Updates

When was the last time you talked with your member of Congress?

With the 2016 legislative calendar set, lawmakers across the country are scheduling opportunities to hear from their constituents when they are at home. These events—or “town halls,” as they are known—are public events that elected officials arrange so they can hear about issues important to constituents. Often times, the issues that constituents raise at these events dictate legislators’ priorities when they return to Washington, DC. 

These town halls present NALC members with the opportunity to update their particular representatives —and the public—on the value that letter carriers and the U.S. Postal Service bring to communities.

Not all members of Congress have these types of events on the books, but a listing of those who do can be found here.

Never been to a town hall event? You could be missing out on a unique opportunity to discuss NALC’s legislative priorities with potential community allies as well as with your representative or senator. Unlike traditional lobbying, there is no need to schedule an appointment, to RSVP or even to wear a suit! But you should still do your research ahead of time–familiarize yourself with NALC’s top priorities (see Issues and Facts Sheets on this page) and your lawmaker’s support of these priorities (see Congressional bill tracker on this page), and you should pull together some talking points about who you are and why you are there.

The key to maintaining (or even establishing) a relationship with your elected lawmakers often does not take place in the halls of Congress but instead in the community in which you both live.  Further, even if your congressional representatives already support our issues, thanking them for this support in a public setting could serve as a friendly reminder to them that we may need their help in the future. The information that is shared during these public events many times can shed some light on what the representative will focus on this year, and you might even get to hear firsthand some insight into where there is agreement between the the House and Senate, and among the political parties, to get legislation passed.

If your member of Congress is not listed as having a town hall meeting, NALC still encourages you to get in touch with their district offices to find out whether there are any local opportunities to meet with him or her. The new year brings new priorities, and with such a limited schedule in Washington this year (thanks mainly to the elections), it’s important that letter carriers connect with our elected representatives at every opportunity in the states. As always, let your Government Affairs Department know about your on-the-ground efforts—we are here to help.

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