Thank you for committing to take action for wild horses and burros and ensuring that your members of Congress hear your concerns about the mismanagement of BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. Every citizen has one representative in the U.S. House of Representatives and two U.S. Senators. Arranging a meeting with the local district offices of these officials is the easiest and most effective way to make your voice heard. Members of Congress and their staff give priority to scheduling meetings with their constituents -- so it is important that you do this outreach directly.
We’ve created the following five-step guide to outline the process.
1. Finding Your Local Office. You should pick the office that is closest and most convenient to you. You can find your Representative here, and your Senators can be found here. Go to their websites to locate their district office locations.
2. Initial Outreach to Schedule the Meeting. Each office has a different procedure for scheduling constituent meetings. The best thing to do is to call the main number of the local office and politely inquire about the best way to go about scheduling a meeting.
Sample Phone Script: “Hi, My name is [ name ] and I’m a constituent of [ Member of Congress or Senator ]. I’m calling to schedule a meeting to discuss federal wild horse and buro policy. Could you please let me know the best way to schedule a brief meeting with the [Member of Congress or Senator] or a member of [his/her] staff?”
Very often you will be directed to fill out an online request. If so, follow the instructions from the office and complete the form, arranging the meeting at a date and time convenient for you.
3. Follow-Up to Confirm Your Meeting. The key to scheduling your meeting is following up with the staff in your Member’s office to ensure that they received your request and process it. Offices receive calling both the district and the DC office, asking to speak to the scheduler, and confirming that your request was received.
4. Get support for your cause. If you are in touch with fellow horse lovers who are also constituents, see if you can get them to come with you to the meeting. If not, you can ask them to sign a letter adding their support to your request for humane treatment and protection of wild horses and burros on our public lands.
5. Attending the Meeting: Once the meeting is confirmed, it’s important to maximize your time during the meeting.
We have prepared talking points and handouts to assist you in making a case for change. Be sure to review them before the meeting and use them as a guide during.
When talking, be direct and specific -- our objective is to a) oppose any efforts to kill or slaughter wild horses – either those on the range and in holding facilities, b) promote humane management of wild
horses on the range via scientifically-proven and cost-effective birth control instead of cruel and costly roundups and removals of horses from the wild, and c) end long-standing federal mismanagement
of this program. The specifics of your request are detailed in the talking points.
6. Document the Meeting. Before or after the meeting, ask the staffer to take a photo of you in the congressional office to document your visit. Be sure to send this to us later, or tweet it to us and tag
@FreeWildHorses so we can know right away. Be sure to thank the staffer for his or her time and say that you will be following up with the American Wild Horse Campaign.
5. Let Us Know How the Meeting Went. Collect the business cards of the staffers you meet. Copy this information down, along with any notes that you took in the meeting and share with us.
We’re here to help, if you need additional assistance or pointers, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Setting Up A Meeting”.
Good luck. Thank you for standing up for America’s wild horses and burros!