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Roughly 400 faithful activists descended on Capitol Hill as part of Bread for the World's 2017 Lobby Day.
Lobby Day is an opportunity for Bread members and activists to communicate personally with their members of Congress and their staffs. When activists visit Capitol Hill in large numbers, at the same time, and all talk about the same issue, they have a better chance of being heard in their advocacy.
The main part of the day is, of course, visits to congressional offices. Around those visits, Bread holds a morning gathering (including breakfast) and orientation at a church on Capitol Hill. Bread staff assist participants in setting up meetings with the offices of members of Congress. The day will end with a reception, worship, participants sharing about the day, and awards given to legislators. The evening reception will include hors d'oeuvres refreshments.
The theme of this year's Lobby Day is "Doing Our Part: Advocating for an End to Hunger." That's the same theme as Bread's 2017 Offering of Letters, which focuses on urging Congress to make funding decisions that will end hunger by 2030.
Lobby Day offers a unique opportunity to communicate personally with members of Congress and their staff in Washington, D.C. Studies have consistently revealed that constituents personally communicating with their members of Congress are often the tipping point to get support for a bill.
It’s also a great time to meet other Bread members from across the country as well as Bread staff.
For many participants, Lobby Day is their first time visiting congressional offices in Washington, D.C. In-person lobbying on Capitol Hill is another dimension of advocacy — and a fascinating one for both new and veteran activists. It’s democracy in action, and often it’s awe-inspiring to actually be in the halls of power in our federal government and participating in its business.
Lobby Day is for activists of all types — those who are new to in-person lobbying in our nation's capital, those who are veterans of it, as well as anyone with experience between those ends of the spectrum.
Those who are new to Lobby Day or coming to D.C. alone can often visit offices with other people from their state, which can make it less intimidating if it’s your first time.
More specifically, gatherings for all participants before and after congressional office visits will take place at St. Mark's Episcopal Church — 301 A Street, SE — in Washington, D.C.
The closest Metro stops are Capitol South on the Orange, Blue, and Silver Lines and Union Station on the Red Line.
Contact Karyn Bigelow at LobbyDay@bread.org or 800/822-7323, ext. 1149 for more information.
7:30-8:30 a.m. | Registration and Breakfast
Need a place to store your luggage while you’re on Capitol Hill? Bring your luggage to the registration table by 8:30 a.m., and we will ensure it is securely held for you at the church. All bags must be picked up by 5 p.m.
NEW Bread President Rev. David Beckmann and Board Chair Sandra Joireman invite Bread members to an informal breakfast to ask questions, make suggestions, or discuss the work of the organization.
8:30-10:00 a.m. | Opening Worship and Legislative Briefing
Join us as we prepare for the day with reflection and worship. Then, learn about the latest legislation in Congress in preparation for your afternoon lobby visits. We’ll provide materials and background information for a successful meeting with your congressional offices.
10:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Regional Caucuses and Lunch
Meet with others from your region and strategize about your upcoming meetings. Regional organizers and policy analysts will be available to answer questions.
1:00-5:00 p.m. | Lobby Visits
Take what you’ve learned and be a witness to your members of Congress. Finish your lobby visits early? Come to the Longworth Cafeteria! Bread staff will be available starting at 2:30 p.m. to help you fill out Congressional Visit Report Forms and write thank you notes.
5:00-7:00 p.m. | Congressional Reception
Join us for hors d’oeuvres and drinks as we thank Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (Pa.), Sen. Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.-04), and Rep. Chris Smith (N.J.-04) for being champions against hunger. A non-alcoholic coffee and soda bar will be available during the reception.
7:00-8:00 p.m. | Closing Worship Celebration
Close your day by coming together for worship and sharing stories of witnessing.
Updated June 1, 2017.
Don't see your meeting listed here? Please contact Karyn Bigelow at LobbyDay@bread.org or 800/822-7323, ext. 1149 for more information.
Download the following policy resources and logistical information to prepare for your visit.
If you have questions, please contact Karyn Bigelow at LobbyDay@bread.org or 800/822-7323, ext. 1149.
Join us for Virtual Lobby Day right where you are. In the coming weeks, we'll provide information about how you can take action and help amplify the advocacy of the hundreds of Bread members who will be coming to Washington, D.C., on June 13 to communicate personally with their members of Congress. Our virtual lobby day script provides tips for a successful call as well as a guide to your conversations with congressional offices.
If you have questions about this event, contact Karyn Bigelow at LobbyDay@bread.org or 800/822-7323, ext. 1149.
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