In the past we have been fortunate to have some of our US Senators and Representatives visit our competitions. This both demonstrates support for all of our efforts to advance STEM engagement and has helped us with federal legislation that should make it possible for more students participate in FIRST. This year FIRST Chesapeake would again like to engage your efforts to invite Members of Congress to FIRST Chesapeake events.
Please use the following form letters and charts to develop your invitations.
1. Form letter to be mailed to your Senator
2. Form letter to be mailed to your Representative
3. Form email to be sent to congressional staffers
4. Contact information for all Congressional representatives and their staff. If you do not have a community outreach or communications manager, we ask you to select one to be responsible for communicating with your Senator and Member of Congress. The form letters need to be completed and mailed to the address in this spreadsheet.
5. List of Teams and their Congressional reps.
The text of the letter can be changed, if you feel you can make it more personalized from your Team.
However, a couple of pointers in writing Congress.
- Keep it brief – note the form letter is only 2/3rds of a page. No letter to a Member should exceed one page.
- Always be respectful. For those of you writing to Senators Mikulski, Cardin, Kaine and Warner and Representatives Norton, Edwards, Comstock, and Brat, please insert the following at the end of the first paragraph: “We have very much appreciated your visiting our competitions in the past and hope you will find the time to attend again this year.”
- Staff is key. This chart lists each member’s DC Aides and District Aide. DC Aides are responsible for supporting the Member in Washington and are assigned issue areas. The Legislative Assistant listed is the one responsible for education issues (among six or more other issues) and the second aide – the Scheduler – controls the Member’s schedule. In the chart, the District aide listed is usually the senior aide in the District office. These “staffers” are the ones who usually decide how the Member will spend his time and what issues are important. While the Member may read your letter and tell them she wants to attend a competition, the staff will recommend and the Member will usually follow their advice. Therefore, you need to communicate with the staffer as well. Here is a suggested email to send to the staff – Don’t forget to attach an electronic copy of the letter you have mailed to their Congressman.
- Please consider inviting your local lawmakers as well. Click here for the Maryland House of Delegates. Click here for the Virginia General Assembly. Look under Member Listing for your House and Senate representatives.
Thank you so much in advance for your help in raising FIRST Chesapeake awareness among decisionmakers in Washington, DC and in your community. If you have any questions, please contact Leighann Boland at .
The FIRST Chesapeake Staff
Published: 18 February 2017