by Lindsey Copeland & Sarah Meek, Directors of Public Policy & Advocacy
This year marks the beginning of the 114th Congressional session, and many of the federal programs and funding sources that are crucial to the work of Lutheran social ministry are at the forefront of the current Congressional policy debate. In anticipation of landmark legislation that could potentially affect our members being put before Congress, we made sure that we were focused on the valuable work of building relationships with key policymakers.
Prior to even setting foot in one of the Congressional office buildings, we developed our list of key legislators with a tie to the work of Lutheran social ministry. Most fell in a few buckets: Lutheran members of Congress, Republican leadership, Democratic leadership, and leadership of important committees, particularly Senate Finance, Senate Judiciary, Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions, House Ways & Means, House Energy & Commerce. Then we began the long but fruitful process of scheduling meetings with the appropriate staff members and introducing the innovative and life-changing work of the LSA network.
In all the offices we visited, the work of LSA members is known and respected in your local community. Both Republican and Democratic offices have repeatedly expressed to us the importance of the work of the Lutheran social ministry network and your organizations to their constituents as well as to society overall. We always enjoy the opportunity to highlight the diversity and dedication of the LSA network, and find our message to be very well received!
Building and strengthening relationships with lawmakers is important here in Washington, and also in your home state. If you’re not already doing so, we encourage all of our members to reach out to your Members of Congress to introduce yourselves and make sure they know about the amazing work you are engaged in. If you have questions about or would like guidance on how to set up and make the most of legislative visits, LSA is here to help! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com (LSA Disability Network) with any questions or thoughts you may have. We look forward to continuing to work together to highlight our members, the network, and Lutheran social ministry!