Attire: Please wear business or business casual attire & comfortable shoes, and be sure to dress for the weather, as the closest parking is about a block from the Capitol entrance, and we may have to make multiple trips out to the car for materials. We’re not allowed to bring things in with dollies.
Single Purpose: When you visit the Capitol on a Surge Visit, it is necessary for you to limit your remarks to the Convention of States Project. Please do not distribute materials or discuss issues that concern other organizations or causes. Doing so could inadvertently violate federal election law, which governs organizations like COS, and jeopardize our tax status. Also, it is important that there be no confusion in the mind of a legislator about the parameters of our Convention. Discussing other issues may leave the legislator thinking that we endorse the other cause, which we may not. If you wish to discuss multiple issues, you'll need to visit on your own and not as an official part of a COS team.
When you get to a legislator's office:
1 Please bear in mind at all times that COS is a non-partisan organization and we will need the support of Americans of all political persuasions to get any amendments all the way across the finish line to ratification. It is imperative that we not criticize a single politician or party. Our problems are systemic, and that's why we need a convention and not just an election to solve them. Be kind to everyone, even if you disagree vehemently with them.
2 Greet & introduce yourself to the Legislative Aide. If you are calling on your own legislator, be sure to identify yourself as a constituent. Ask if you can have a moment of the legislator's time. If s/he's not available, you'll need to decide whether you want to wait, come back later, or talk with the Aide. (If there’s only one or 2 people ahead of you and they’re not involved in a lengthy meeting, I suggest you wait. The Aide will be able to give you some guidance.) Please remember that the Aide is an important member of the Legislator's team. Engage with him or her as an important ally to be won, not an obstacle to be overcome. Treat the Aides with the utmost courtesy & respect.
3 Whomever you talk to, explain that you're here as a volunteer for the Convention of States Project, and briefly tell them why you support our application, "to limit the scope & jurisdiction of the federal government." Feel free to engage in as much or as little discussion as you're comfortable with. Take a business card and make notes about your conversation, including what literature you gave them. Also try to find out where they stand and note it on the back of their business card.
◦ Opposed? If so, why?
◦ They want more info. Ask if they want a member of your state leadership team to swing by today, or set up an appointment. Phone one of us at the above phone numbers and we'll set it up.
◦ If they ask a question you don’t know the answer to, tell them you’ll have one of your State Leaders follow up with them. Send us a text as soon as you’re done talking with them so we can come by their office while we’re still in town.
◦ Supports? To what extent: would vote for it when it comes to the floor, would co-sponsor? Is it ok for us to let their colleagues and/or constituents know they support us?
4 Try to get as many pictures as you can.
5 Be sure to thank the legislator or aide for their time.