How to Host A Site Visit with Policymakers

Invite your legislator to your institution or local section and show them the chemistry in their constituency.

1. Plan Ahead

  • Contact your institution's goverment affairs office about hosting a lawmaker before making any arrangements.
  • Decide on a format for the visit (see the suggestions below).
  • Develop a plan for building an audience and generating media attention.

2. Find Out When

  • Check the days Congress is in session to find out when your elected official is on break and likely to be in their home district or state.
    • Federal holidays and the month of August are often good times as Congress is in recess.

3. Invite Your Legislator

  • Find your Member of Congress and call or email to inquire about the member's availability and interest.
  • Inform the office if the event will be covered by media or open to the public.
    • Tip: Let the office know of any publicity or recognition you have received regarding a similar past event. Positive coverage will make lawmakers more likely to come!
  • Follow-up with an email or phone call to the district office if you do not hear back to your initial request.

4. Hold your event

  • Be ready for unanticipated delays. Members of Congress are famous for running late due to busy schedules.
  • Be sure to take plenty of pictures for your institution or local section newsletter
  • Make sure to give your legislator a chance to talk to the audience.

5. Follow up with a thank you

  • Write a thank you note to the official. This is especially important if your goal is to establish a relationship.
  • Make sure to highlight any positive press generated by your event.

6. Let ACS know about your advocacy actions!

Hosting Ideas

  • Hold a poster session to highlight federally-funded research.
  • Ask a legislator or chair of the school board to present awards to students or teachers.
  • Local Section Activities: Invite a public official to speak at a Local Section meeting or public outreach activities. Your Local Section’s National Chemistry Week or Chemists Celebrate Earth Day events are great opportunities.
  • Lab Tours: Invite legislators to tour your laboratory or workplace. This activity can help showcase the chemical research and production taking place in their district.
  • Hold a symposium on a public affairs topic.

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