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Recess 101: Engaging Members of Congress In Your District

RepErikPaulsen2012 002

The Twin Cities Bread team used a fall 2012 congressional recess as an opportunity to schedule an in-district meeting with Rep. Erik Paulsen(R-Mn.). Pictured: (front row, l to r) Audrey Johnson, Ed Payne, Brad Pepin; (back row, l to r): Gerry Peterson, Dick Johnson, Rep. Paulsen, Judy Waeschle, Carol Dubay, Lois Troemel. (Photo courtesy of Twin Cities Bread team)

By Robin Stephenson

For members of Congress, recess doesn’t involve games of tag or hide-and-seek on the playground. It is a time when they return to their home states and districts to find out what their constituents think—what you think.

During recess, town halls meetings (PDF ) are likely to take place. A town hall is a great opportunity to get your member of Congress to speak publicly about programs affecting hungry and poor people.

If you would like to get a face-to-face meeting with your representative or one of your senators, try to schedule it during recess, when members of Congress are more likely to be available. And if you are planning an education or advocacy event, choose a time when your member may be able to attend (August recess is the longest in-district period). They are always looking for opportunities to meet with their constituents.

Local staffers schedule activities early, but schedule changes often occur, so some flexibility on your part may be required. Just because your member is in-district doesn't mean they can attend your event, but it never hurts to ask and put yourself on their radar.

Below are the tentative recess periods for members of the Senate and House. These dates will aid you as you plan your anti-hunger activities for 2013 (you may periodically want to recheck these calendars).

House 2013  tentative scheduled recess periods:

  • Feb. 18 – Feb. 22
  • March 25 – April 5
  • April 29 – May 3
  • May 27 – May 31
  • July 1 – July 5
  • Aug. 5 – Sept. 6
  • Oct. 14 – Oct. 18
  • Nov. 4 – Nov. 8
  • Nov. 25 – Nov. 29

Senate 2013 tentative scheduled recess periods:

  • Feb. 18 – Feb. 22
  • March 25 – April 5
  • April 29 – May 3
  • May 27 – May 31
  • July 1 – July 5
  • Aug. 5 – Sept. 6
  • Oct. 14 – Oct. 18

Call your regional organizer if you want to talk about planning an event in your area. 

Robin Stephenson is national social media lead and senior regional organizer, western hub, at Bread for the World.

 

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Comments

very good i like your activities. God Bless u

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