Travel Insights from ASTA

All Politics is Local: Influencing Congress from Your Backyard

From Genevieve Strand, Senior Manager, Advocacy

In May, travel advisors from across the country flocked to Capitol Hill in record number for ASTA’s annual Legislative Day, which was a smashing success, but what about the other 364 days of the year? Lobbying is about relationship building, and year-round activity is the best way to build a connection with your legislators on Capitol Hill. Here are four ideas for making your voice heard and shaping policy where you live and work.

Attend Town Halls

Most members of Congress will hold periodic in-person or virtual town hall meetings to listen to their constituents’ ideas and concerns. You’ll have a chance to ask questions about their work in Congress and talk about how it impacts you.

Meet with District Staff

Members of Congress rely heavily on a team of staff members in their Capitol Hill offices to support their policy work, but you may not realize that they also have a team of staffers to act as their “eyes and ears” in the community. Schedule a meeting or stop by to get to know the staff in these District offices, as it can be one of the best ways to get your message across.

Host a Site Visit

When Congress isn’t in session, Members return to their districts to meet with constituents and will frequently schedule visits with local businesses. This kind of “face time” with your Representatives is invaluable. They can see with their own eyes that travel advisors are thriving, and can hear firsthand about the challenges they can help solve. You might even get a new client out of it!

Get Out and Vote

Election Day was Tuesday, November 6, 2018. While 2018 was not a Presidential election year, there were many other important races at the federal, state and local levels that affect your business and your bottom line. There is no more direct way to have your voice heard than casting your ballot!

Pro Tips

  • Visit your Representative’s official website to find upcoming events.
  • Visit your Representative’s official website to find contact information for the office location nearest you.
  • Contact ASTA HQ, who will put you in touch with the District Scheduler.
  • Visit Vote.gov for information on registering, and to find out when, where and what to bring with you on Election Day.

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