SPP: Who We Are and What We Do
NMAC’s Strategic Partnerships & Policy (SPP) is responsible for advancing NMAC’s legislative priorities on Capitol Hill, with the Administration, and within the federal departments. Our day-to-day work includes strategizing and meeting with members of Congress as well as collaborating with other public policy organizations. Together, we focus on current legislation, budgets, and administration statements.
Advocacy 101: Representation
- How do I find my congressional district?
The link above will take you to the census bureau’s databases where you can enter your information to find your district.
- How do I find/ look up my representative?
You can use this link to find your senators and member of Congress by district.
- How can I contact my representative?
After you have found who your representative is, you can visit their personal website. Most will have a “contact me” section with the numbers, addresses, and emails of their D.C. and district offices.
- How can I contact my senator?
Follow the above Senate.gov link to look up your senator’s contact information.
Advocacy 101 – Legislation
How can I look up information about a bill such as cosponsors, summaries, committees, full text, and amendments?
You can find all of this information by searching the bill on congress.gov, there can search by keyword, bill number, sponsor, committee, and the bill status in the legislative process.
The best way to track legislative alerts is to create a govtrack.us account. Once your account is verified, you can subscribe to different email notification based on your interests.
When going into a congressional meeting, you will likely be meeting with an experienced staffer or sometimes even the representative themself- so it is important to come prepared. Things you can do to get ready for the big day include…
- Write down key questions, points, or “requests” as reminders during the meeting.
- Find out more information about current legislation, including legislation related to aging and HIV/AIDS.
- Bring along items such as: a pen and notepad, business cards, and a facts sheet summarizing your key points.
- Dress to impress! Business professional attire is the norm on the Hill.
I Met With My Representative! What’s Next?
To follow through on your meeting, you will want to send a note to the representative or staffer who you met with. Some great things to include are:
- Thanking them for meeting with you and taking an interest in your cause
- Reiterating the requests you advocated for during your meeting
- Following up on any supplemental materials/resources they are supposed to provide you with
- Including your contact information for them to reach out to you, and encouraging them to get in contact with questions or concerns
Terms To Know
Committee vs. Caucus
- Caucus: an informal organization of members of the House, Senate, or both, that exists to discuss issues of mutual concern and to perform legislative research and policy planning for its members. There are regional, political or ideological, ethnic, and economic-based caucuses.
- Committee: a subsidiary organization, established for the purpose of considering legislation, conducting hearings and investigations, or carrying out other assignments as instructed by the Senate.
- Standing Committees are permanent with specialized subject areas, and mainly focus on considering and marking up legislation.
- Joint Committees are permanent and include members from both the House and Senate. They usually focus more on conducting studies and administrative concerns rather than legislation.
- Special or Select Committees are temporary and established for specific tasks.
Types of Legislation
- Bills are prefixed with H.R. (when introduced in the House) or S. (when introduced in the Senate) and are followed by a number based on the order in which they are introduced. The vast majority of legislative proposals are in the form of bills. They deal with domestic and foreign issues/ programs, and appropriate money to various government agencies/ programs. When bills are passed in identical form by both Chambers of Congress and signed by the president (or passed by Congress overriding a presidential veto), they become laws.
Examples of Current Legislation
- H.Res.111: Supporting the goals and ideals of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
- H.Res.308: Supporting the goals and ideals of National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day.
- H.Res.504: Supporting the goals and ideals of National Clinicians HIV/AIDS Testing and Awareness Day.
- H.Con.Res.78: Supporting the goals and ideals of World AIDS Day.
- H.Amdt.320: Redirects $15 million in the HIV/AIDS (STD) account to support Opioid Related Disease.
- S.1225: Section 3 of the Elder Pride Act of 2019 promises to collect and disseminate information related to challenges experienced by older LGBT individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
- S.1825: Section 2 of the Global Respect Act of 2019 says that Congress has found that laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relationships hinder access to HIV/AIDS treatment, information, and prevention.