As members of a press association, it is assumed we are all a journalist in one form or another. As journalists, we seek to tell a story to our audience — a story that is thought-out and factual so our readers can grasp the full extent. Does it matter if your audience is a thousand people or just one? Does the preparation process differ? I would contend that the process is the same.
The American Legion’s Washington Conference in Washington, D.C., Feb 24-27, gives Legionnaires the opportunity to tell those who represent us in Congress our story.The story of how legislation can help or hurt our fellow veterans and military personnel.
Whether you are going to Washington or not, NALPA members can make a difference by preparing, and preparing those attending, for the story to be told to representatives and senators.
Four steps to take for a successful conference
There are several steps Legionnaires should take before going to Washington, however, there are too many to list in this article so I have put together a manual for the conference. It is located on the Department of Michigan’s website at www.michiganlegion.org/meetings-and-state-affairs/legislative-national.
The following four steps are the most important to help you prepare:
- Do you know who your representatives and senators are? If you don’t, go to www.congress.gov to find out. We just had an election so they may have changed.
- Have you made an appointment with your representative or senator to discuss The American Legion’s legislative priorities for the 116th Congress? Make the appointment for Tuesday, Feb. 26, after 11 a.m. The Commander’s Call will be Tuesday morning so an 11 a.m. or later appointment will allow you to attend the call and get to the meeting on time.
- Take note of the social media accounts of your representatives and senators and follow them.
- Download The American Legion’s legislative agenda brochure for the 116th Congress at www.legion.org/publications under Legislative for the issues to be discussed in Washington. A priority is Resolution 1 passed during Fall Meetings 2018. Resolution 1 calls on Congress to recognize armed hostilities where military personnel were deployed as a period of war.
See you in Washington.