Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: When are my congressional meetings?
A: All meetings will be scheduled for Wednesday, September 14 from 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. It is very important that you hold the full day for meetings, as schedules will be determined by the availability of congressional offices and will not be finalized until the week of the event.
Q: Do I need to schedule my own meetings?
A: No. We will schedule all of your meetings with the offices of your members of Congress. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any personal connections with specific congressional offices.
Q: Are the meetings in-person or virtual?
A: We are requesting in-person meetings in members’ Washington, DC offices. However, some offices are still only scheduling virtual meetings. Therefore, you may have a mix of in-person and virtual meetings held via Zoom. If you do have a virtual meeting, you can use one of the spaces we have reserved for this purpose at the Park Hyatt Hotel in the morning and at the Florida House on Capitol Hill all day. Though the vast majority of meetings will be in-person, we recommend that participants bring headphones if they have a virtual meeting.
Q: Will I be meeting with my elected officials on my own or will I be part of a team?
A: We will group participants from the same or nearby congressional districts or states for the meetings with members of Congress and their staff. Every participant will have a state leader and some larger groups will also have group leaders for House meetings.
Q: When and how will I receive my schedule?
A: On the afternoon of Friday, September 9, all Rally Hill Day registrants will receive an email from Gilner@soapboxconsulting.com and a link to your own personal code to access your DRAFT schedule via the Soapbox mobile tool. Your schedule will include all the information about your meetings, including whom you are meeting with, other members of your group, and how to join the meeting. Please note that your schedule can – and likely will – change right up until the actual meeting time. All changes will be accessible via the link that you will receive in the Sept. 9 email.
Q: What if I have a problem with my schedule?
A: If you have any scheduling issues with your congressional meetings, please contact email@example.com by COB September 12.
Q: What are the security procedures to access congressional offices for in-person meetings?
A: The Capitol buildings are currently in a limited re-opening which requires visitors with official business to be escorted into the House and Senate buildings. Please plan to report to the appropriate House or Senate office building entrance noted on your schedule at least 10-15 minutes before the meeting start time and follow the directions on your schedule to alert staff to bring you through security.
Q: My schedule says that I have a virtual meeting. How do I participate?
A: If you do have a virtual meeting, you can use one of the spaces that we have reserved for this purpose at the Park Hyatt Hotel in the morning and at the Florida House on Capitol Hill all day. Your online schedule will include a link to join the meeting via Zoom and you can use your phone, tablet or laptop to join.
Q: I registered for the Hill Day, but I am no longer able to participate. What should I do?
A: Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so we can make sure any meetings that have been scheduled in your name are cancelled.
Q: What training will be provided for participants?
A: We strongly encourage you to participate in the in-person training session on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the Park Hyatt Hotel. Check-in will open at 1:30 p.m. and the training will be from 2:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. to provide information on everything you will need to be successful in your meetings. The training will include the current status of congressional activity related to NIH funding, the messaging we will be using for the Hill Day, tips to prepare for your meetings, and important logistics so you know how and when to access your meetings. We will also have time for Q&A and strategizing with your group. Given security protocols on Capitol Hill, we ask that ALL participants join the training, regardless of previous Hill Day experience.
Q: When/how do I meet the other members of my group?
A: We’ve reserved time during the training on Sept. 13 for you to meet with your groups so that you can plan for your Hill Day meetings. Participants can also sit at their state tables for the breakfast on Sept. 14.
Q: I’d like to share a photo or video on why I’m participating in the Rally. Any tips or tools you can share?
A: Absolutely! We encourage everyone to share photos and short videos on social media about why it’s important to you to advocate for medical research funding. In the House and Senate office buildings, you may take photos of the name plaque of members of Congress you are meeting with. Photos of the inside of congressional offices should only be taken with the permission of congressional staff. Be sure to use the hashtags #RallyMedRes and #FundNIH so we can see and share your message! You can also tag your members of Congress.
Q: I’m unable to participate in the meetings on September 14, but I would still like to support the cause by contacting my Members of Congress. Is there a way to do that in coordination with the Rally?
A: Yes! Everyone can join in the online National Day of Action, which will also take place on September 14. Please click here to contact your member of Congress through the Rally’s Legislative Action Center. If you would like to reach out directly to your member of Congress, the Rally for Medical Research Grassroots Toolkit has helpful information for emails, letters, social media, and more.