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Lobbying: SRS has a federally registered lobbyist, the Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington, which represents the organization’s legislative priorities to Congress and federal agencies. They are located in Washington, DC and regularly communicate with the SRS Board of Directors regarding key updates, opportunities, and action that SRS membership can take to advance sleep research.
Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington 507 Capitol Court NE, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20002 (202) 544-7499
DC Representatives: Dale Dirks and Dane Christiansen firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Advocacy: As an American citizen and constituent of a Representative and two Senators, you are allowed to advocate on behalf of the sleep research field. The purpose of advocating is to educate legislators, discuss the impact of sleep research activities in the state/district, and request support for legislative priorities for the coming fiscal year.
Why is Advocacy important?
Appropriations funding for sleep research programs is a year-long process that determines federal funding for agencies and programs within agencies. Legislators make decisions/review funding levels all year long and have competing priorities; however, constituent priorities are among the top. It is important for SRS members to provide information about their current activities to inform their legislator about the impact sleep research is having in the state/district and demonstrate it is a priority to his/her constituency.
Cultivate Congressional Champions
SRS members can participate in Grassroots Advocacy to cultivate and strengthen existing relationships with Members of Congress who will take action on behalf of the field. Examples of action include:
Meeting with Members of Congress
To find your Representative: Go to the U.S House of Representatives website and use the Find Your Representative search field in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage to enter your ZIP Code. A map will display the congressional districts relevant to your zipcode, along with links to websites for each Representative.
To find your Senator: Go to the Senators listing on the U.S. Senate website and choose your state. The page will then display the names and website URLs for both of your Senators. Your Representative or Senator should have a contact link on the website homepage, with a phone number, web form or email. It is best to contact the in-state office and ask to speak to the person in charge of the Representative or Senator's schedule.
Meeting Talking Points
When you contact members of Congress, emphasize the following points:
Guidelines for Reporting Visits
The following are guidelines and suggestions for visiting Members of Congress and federal agencies and reporting back to the SRS Board of Directors:
Primary Purposes of SRS Representation
Guidelines for Conduct
Attending governmental meetings and functions is for the purpose of advancing the interests of the SRS, not furthering your own career. For example, there should be no attempt to lobby for particular applications. Notify the proper office that you will be coming to the event as a representative of the Sleep Research Society. Wear a name tag indicating SRS affiliation and make a list of particular agency staff with whom you wish to meet.
Reporting to the SRS
A report to the SRS Advocacy Task Force on a visit to any government agency should include the following key elements:
Importance of Reporting