How does Hill Day work?
The day includes a breakfast briefing to discuss how to best communicate with members of Congress, a review of the issues you will be discussing and presentations from guest speakers – everyone from members of Congress to the Surgeon General. Following the briefing, you will be directed toward Capitol Hill with your colleagues to meet with your congressional representatives throughout the afternoon.
Do I make my own appointments?
No, DGR staff matches your address (where you are registered to vote) against our congressional database and then requests appointments with your elected officials.
Will I meet my member of Congress personally?
Possibly, this varies from meeting to meeting. Members of Congress have very busy schedules. Between votes, committee hearings and meetings with other constituents, their time is scheduled to the minute. They may spend the whole meeting with you, two minutes with you, or none at all. We always request that the member of Congress be present at the meeting.
The staff member I met with seemed fresh out of college.
That’s very likely. Jobs on Capitol Hill don’t pay much and staff members are expected to work long hours – so it tends to attract a lot of people when they are younger. They work their way up in an office or move off the Hill once they’ve gained some experience.
I live in Florida, but have friends in Pennsylvania who are coming to DO Day. Can I go with them to their meetings?
No. Congressional offices want to meet with their constituents, those who vote them into office. These meetings are professional business meetings and should be treated as such. With the large numbers of participants that come to participate in DO Day, we cannot have participants changing groups just to be with their friends.
What if I can’t answer a question about a particular issue?
It’s perfectly acceptable to say "I don’t know," and tell the office you will follow-up with the answer. If you’ve ever watched C-Span, you’ve seen cabinet secretaries doing this all the time. This also provides you with a prime opportunity to contact the office again and continue to build a relationship.
When do I get my appointment schedule?
Staff is continually scheduling or moving meetings until late into the day before DO Day. Your schedules will be distributed in final form on the morning before you begin.
What if I’m the only person from my district?
Staff will work to review the schedules and combine groups or select "Hill Day Veterans" to accompany the first time participants. Small states with three to five participants in total can attend all meetings together.