Preparation: As the organizer,
invite people who will make a strong team - whether from a coalition
of labor, faith and non-profit groups plus vets and military family
members, for example - or local CODEPINK members.
- Focus on your message: no more money for war, or no new war
on Iran! Note: Your group will probably speak with one or more
staff members, not the member of Congress, especially for a first
- Before the visit, go to the building of the Congressperson's
district office ahead of time to find restrooms, a place to talk
quietly, and maybe a lunch or coffee spot for after the visit
- as well as the office itself.
- Research your member of Congress. Look at his/her website,
google news stories about his/her positions and voting record
on the war, and practice compelling arguments on your issue.
- The day of your office visit, meet first with your lobbying
team to determine speakers, a notetaker, a followup questions
asker, and other roles as needed. A hour-long meeting to prepare
is great, but even 5 minutes standing in the lobby of your Congressperson's
office building will work.
Personal stories: Members
of Congress, like people everywhere, respond to stories that are
personal, true, heartfelt and to the point. Choose one or two stories
about the war, preferably one linked to an issue your member of
Congress has worked on, and tell it powerfully and concisely. Supplement
the stories with visuals such as images of casualties of war. For
examples and more info, click
Persistence: 30% of
the American people expressed opposition to the Iraq war/occupation
in 2003. Now over 70% are in opposition. This change comes
in part from the persistence of many dedicated citizens over 5 years
and in the face of relentless pro-war propaganda. Persistence pays
off in the long run - and we will persist until the troops come
Pink: Our signature color
adds camaraderie, media interest and woman-centered style to Congressional
visits. Depending on your group, you might want to do something
- Dress up - all in pink suits or jackets.
- Choose a t-shirt that you will all wear, or a mix of t-shirts
from various campaigns; to order, click
- Dress in black for mourning with touches of black.
- Use pink visuals; click
here for lots more action ideas and resources.
- Promise that the member of Congress will receive a "Pink
Badge of Courage" if she or he will vote NO on the war funding.
- The use of pink will make your office visit more dramatic and
- Be sure to document your office visit at our Local
Spotlight web page.