Champions of Kidney Care Education Center

National legislative decisions are made within one or both bodies of Congress (i.e., the House of Representatives or the Senate), must be passed by vote, and approved with the President’s signature in order to become a law. Renal Support Network (RSN) needs you to reach out to your elected officials. Here’s how:

Members of Congress (United States Senators and Representatives) make time for meetings with constituents as part of their duties as elected officials. Face-to-face meetings are one of the most powerful ways to advocate for kidney-related policies, as a meeting makes you and your issue more memorable to legislators. The good news is you can use Zoom! U.S. Senators and Representatives maintain offices in their home states that allow their constituents to meet with them or their staff. You can find information about the local offices of your Senators and Representative on their websites.

It is important to know that the staff who work for members of Congress are very important, too! Whether you meet directly with your Senator or Representative or with their staff person, you are taking an important step by building a relationship with them. This makes them much more likely to pay attention when we call or email about a specific issue in the future.

You can set up a meeting by following the steps below.

  1. Know what RSN Kidney Care Policy issues are at the forefront.
  2. Find out who is Your Elected Official.
  3. Contact your Elected Official’s office to set up a meeting via In-Person, Zoom, or Telephone.
  4. Supporting Information about chronic kidney disease and legislation proposals.

How to Set up a Meeting with Your Elected Officials

1. Send an email or use website contact form
Most elected official websites will have a “Request for Meeting” form that you can fill out online OR offer an email address for the person in charge of scheduling their appointments. If you are sending an email, it should contain the following:

  • Your name and address. 
  • The issues you wish to discuss. 
  • Check to see if your elected official is on the current kidney caucus. 

2. Follow up
A day or two after you anticipate your communication has arrived, follow up with a phone call/email to your elected official’s local office. Ask for the person in charge of scheduling your elected official’s appointments. Click here to access more tips and a suggested script.

3. Confirm your appointment.

  • Confirm the time of your meeting and how much time is reserved. 
  • Confirm who you are meeting with – fyi, this can change due to schedule changes. Don’t be offended. The person you meet with will be sharing your information with your elected official.
  • Confirm the address, platform ID (password if necessary), and/or telephone number.

Preparation before the meeting

Practice what you plan to say with a family member or friend, it will help you feel more at ease on the day of the meeting. Also, if you know any key facts about your elected official – they are a medical doctor, they graduated from the same place you did, they voted for legislation that benefited you, etc. Any of these facts could help you have a positive interview during your meeting. Even if you don’t favor the elected official, having a positive encounter is your goal and may even change the attitudes of elected officials given time. Even if you don’t convince them to vote for the legislation this year – they may remember you next year!

Review the legislation and Information about chronic kidney disease handouts to share with elected official.

During the meeting

Whether your meeting is In-Person, Zoom, or Telephone:
Be professional and respectful and stay on topic. Be prepared to ask questions and share your perspective. It’s not uncommon to be nervous the first time; however, the more practice you have at this/the more at ease you will feel. Run through what you’re going to say with someone before you go, and you’ll remember what you are planning to say. Also, jotting down a few bullet points can help you remember important points. Click here to access more tips and a suggested script.

If In-Person:

  • Be on time.
  • When you enter the office. Introduce yourself to the receptionist and let them know who you have an appointment with and confirm the time.
  • Dress for the occasion. Business casual is acceptable. Casual wear such as jeans or shorts are not suitable for the meeting.
  • Have a notepad and pen for notes.
  • Have printed information about the proposed legislation and kidney disease facts to leave along with your contact info.


If Zoom:

  • Be prompt. Test your audio and video settings ahead of time to make sure everything is working properly.
  • Be sure your background is uncluttered and there are no distracting noises.
  • Dress the same as if In-Person. Casual business attire is preferable.
  • Have a notepad and pen for notes.


If by Telephone:

  • Be prompt.
  • Choose a place that is quiet and avoid background noise.
  • Be sure your phone is charged and/or plugged into a charger.
  • Have a notepad and pen for notes.

Once the meeting starts:

  1. Introduce yourself.
  2. Then, make a connection. Ask if they know someone with chronic kidney disease. If they do not, ask them if they know someone with diabetes or high blood pressure. Let them share who they know or how kidney disease has impacted their lives.
  3. Share why you are there/What is important to you.
  4. Concisely, but effectively share your story and how kidney disease has affected you. Maintain your composure. This is not the place for therapy. Use your passion but keep focused.
  5. Explain why your elected official should support the current proposed bill(s). How could it help people living with kidney disease, like you?
  6. Ask your elected official if they are a member of the Kidney Caucus. Thank them for their participation if they are already a member/Ask them to consider joining if they have not.
  7. Ask them if they might consider supporting the proposed bills. If yes: great. Ask them if they might be willing to be a cosponsor for the bill. If not: They will usually make a statement about priorities, budget, etc. They may ask if the bill has been “scored”. But maybe they’re looking for more information. Be polite.
  8. Ask them if they would like further information. If they do, tell them you will get the information and share it with them as soon as possible.
  9. Leave your contact information and share information/one page about proposed bills and chronic kidney disease.
  10. Thank the Legislative Assistant or the elected official for their time at the end of the meeting.
  11. Save their name and contact info so you can reach to them again.
  12. Follow up with a thank you email within 2-4 weeks. Offer to answer any more questions if they would like.

Let RSN know your experience.

Follow up with RSN how your meeting went. Who did you meet with? Was their attitude positive or negative? Did they request more information? Please use the button below to access a form let us know!

Do you know who represents you? To find your state and local representatives, click the button below and enter. your address.

Take Action on Current Legislation that Affects People with Kidney Disease

Find out if your Representative is a member of the 118th Congressional Kidney Caucus! 

In the United States, the branches of government are divided into three separate and independent branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Click the button below for a brief description of each.

We’ve compiled a few tips and tools to make it easy to follow and communicate with your representatives via social media.

Learn more ways to develop a relationship with your elected officials.

Be sure to vote! You can register, check, or update your information at USA.gov in English and in Spanish.

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