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Office Visit Tips

Preparation: As the organizer, invite people who will make a strong team - whether from a coalition of labor, faith and non-profit groups plus vets and military family members, for example - or local CODEPINK members.

  • Focus on your message: no more money for war, or no new war on Iran! Note: Your group will probably speak with one or more staff members, not the member of Congress, especially for a first visit.
  • Before the visit, go to the building of the Congressperson's district office ahead of time to find restrooms, a place to talk quietly, and maybe a lunch or coffee spot for after the visit - as well as the office itself.
  • Research your member of Congress. Look at his/her website, google news stories about his/her positions and voting record on the war, and practice compelling arguments on your issue.
  • The day of your office visit, meet first with your lobbying team to determine speakers, a notetaker, a followup questions asker, and other roles as needed. A hour-long meeting to prepare is great, but even 5 minutes standing in the lobby of your Congressperson's office building will work.

Personal stories: Members of Congress, like people everywhere, respond to stories that are personal, true, heartfelt and to the point. Choose one or two stories about the war, preferably one linked to an issue your member of Congress has worked on, and tell it powerfully and concisely. Supplement the stories with visuals such as images of casualties of war. For examples and more info, click here.

Persistence: 30% of the American people expressed opposition to the Iraq war/occupation in 2003. Now over 70% are in opposition. This change comes in part from the persistence of many dedicated citizens over 5 years and in the face of relentless pro-war propaganda. Persistence pays off in the long run - and we will persist until the troops come home!

Pink: Our signature color adds camaraderie, media interest and woman-centered style to Congressional visits. Depending on your group, you might want to do something specific.

  • Dress up - all in pink suits or jackets.
  • Choose a t-shirt that you will all wear, or a mix of t-shirts from various campaigns; to order, click here.
  • Dress in black for mourning with touches of black.
  • Use pink visuals; click here for lots more action ideas and resources.
  • Promise that the member of Congress will receive a "Pink Badge of Courage" if she or he will vote NO on the war funding.
  • The use of pink will make your office visit more dramatic and memorable.
  • Be sure to document your office visit at our Local Spotlight web page.