This webpage is dedicated to providing members with current, easy-to-use tools for participating in grassroots advocacy. Below are toolkits for both AHMA Members and Executive Members. Ultimately, these toolkits will assist all NAHMA members in becoming effective grassroots advocates. Current grassroots topics and opportunities for participation in advocacy may be found on the ‘Urgent Issues’ page.
- Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Letter – NAHMA’s letter to the Senate Finance Committee on tax reform (November 13, 2017)
- ACTION Campaign Statement on Tax Reform in the House– A statement from the ACTION Campaign regarding tax reform and affordable housing (November 3, 2017)
- Fiscal Year 2018 Rental Assistance Fact Sheet – An advocacy sheet NAHMA prepared to provide information on HUD program and funding considerations for fiscal year 2017 and 2018. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a state-specific version.
- LIHTC Fact Sheet October 2017 – An advocacy sheet from the ACTION campaign providing information on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and how Congress can support this essential program. Contact email@example.com for a state-specific version.
- FAQs on Grassroots Advocacy – General information on Congressional grassroots advocacy
- How to Advocate – Best practices for effective grassroots advocacy
- Who to Contact in Congress – A NAHMAnalysis on Senate and House committee leadership for the 115th Congress (Updated February 14, 2017)
- Tips for Hosting a Site Visit – Information on hosting a member of Congress at a property
- Hill Meeting Basics (ASAE) – Tips and thoughts for having an effective Hill visit (Provided by the American Society of Association Executives)
- Site Map of U.S. Congress – A handy map displaying the location of House and Senate Office Buildings
- NAHMA Maps – Affordable housing statistical information for Congressional Representatives
- Recent Grassroots Alerts – The latest NAHMA action campaigns
- Advocacy Report Form – Share your advocacy experience, including property visits and Capitol Hill meetings
- Legislative Terminology – The basic terms used in the legislative process. (Definitions copied from Senate Glossary)
- How a Bill Becomes Public Law – Congressional Research Service Report by Valerie Heitshusen (November 2012)
How to Find Your Congressional Representatives
- Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- U.S. House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
- You may also search for your elected officials through NAHMA Maps
Reach out to Congressional Representatives through Social Media
Social media outreach to constituents is ubiquitous in Congress; the following links will help you identify your Representatives’ and Senators’ social media outlets.
- Accounts of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, a public list by Twitter Government www.twitter.com/gov/lists/us-house/members
- Accounts of members of the U.S. Senate, a public list by Twitter Government www.twitter.com/gov/lists/us-senate/members
- Please Follow NAHMA on Twitter and Like our Facebook page.
Congressional Management Foundation Advocacy Videos
The Congressional Management Foundation is dedicated to improving the relationship between citizens and Congress by comprehensively addressing communications challenges faced by both sides. Through our recent partnership with CMF, NAHMA has gained access to several video clips which demonstrate the best practices for communicating with lawmakers and their staff.
- Video 1 – How to Hug a Porcupine: Building Relationships with Lawmakers and Why it’s Important (youtube.com)
- Video 2 – What Congress is Looking for in Constituent Communications (youtube.com)
- Video 3 – WAY Outside the Beltway: House District Directors on the Do’s and Don’ts of In-State Meetings (youtube.com)
- Video 4 – Getting Past Gatekeepers: Congressional Schedulers’ Advice for Meeting Requests (youtube.com)
- Video 5 – Strategies for Building Relationships with Lawmakers Back Home (youtube.com)
- Video 6 – Strategies for Influencing Undecided Lawmakers (youtube.com)
- Video 7 – #SocialCongress: Perceptions and Use of Social Media on Capitol Hill (youtube.com)
- Video 8 – How to Write an Effective Email to Congressional Staff (youtube.com)
- Video 9 – What to Expect When Meeting with a Member of Congress and Staff (youtube.com)
- Video 10 – How to Create Stories to Move the Hearts, Minds, and VOTES of Lawmakers (youtube.com)
Toolkit Items Especially for AHMA Members
These resources are tailored for regional AHMAs, with emphasis placed on advocating at the local level.
Toolkit Items Especially for Executive Members
These resources are tailored for Executive Members of NAHMA, with emphasis placed on advocacy at the national level.
Executive Member Testimonials – Experiences from other Executive Members
- Testimonial from past NAHMA President, Gianna Solari (youtube.com)
- Testimonial from former NAHMA President, Phil Carroll (youtube.com)
NAHMA is happy to help you decide what times are best to visit Capitol Hill, who you would like to meet with, and how to best present your message. If you would like NAHMA to schedule the appointment on your behalf, simply contact NAHMA’s Government Affairs Coordinator, Juliana Bilowich. Alternatively, if you would like to meet with a member of Congress and it is more convenient to schedule a visit in your Representative’s District, please contact us so that we may provide any additional assistance.
Please note that participating in a NAHMA request for communication with your Congressional representatives will not cause you to be considered a Lobbyist under federal guidelines. The definition for Lobbyist under federal guidelines is as follows, and all three conditions must be met:
Lobbyist: Any individual (1) who is either employed or retained by a client for financial or other compensation (2) whose services include more than one lobbying contact; and (3) whose “lobbying activities” constitute 20 percent or more of his or her services on behalf of thatclient during any three month period.