Both Houses of Congress are currently on August recess and will return to Capitol Hill on September 8, 2015. During this time, when members of Congress will be in their home districts, the National WIC Association would like to encourage you to reach out to your Senators, Representative, and their staff to give them a tour of a WIC clinic in your district. Providing legislators with an inside-look into what WIC does and who WIC serves will help to emphasize how important the program is and show policy-makers that WIC is worth protecting.
If you aren’t sure who your Representative and Senators are, please use our Engage platform to look them up. Once you know who your members of Congress are, you can find their local office contact information on their website. To set up a visit, call the local office and explain who you are and that you would like to find a time to provide the Representative or Senator with a tour of a local WIC clinic while he or she is home on the August recess.
If this is the first time that you will be reaching out to a member of Congress directly to host a visit, we at NWA are happy to connect you with veteran hosts in the WIC community so that you can learn the best and easiest ways to organize an event.
Also, you may be wondering what you should talk about with your member of Congress, should you have the opportunity to meet with them. A good place to start would be to review our “Creating WIC Messages” PowerPoint presentation. Some additional resources to draw from include our WIC: Solid Returns on Investment fact sheet and our WIC for a Healthier, Stronger America fact sheet.
If you’re comfortable, you may want to bring up the issue of Medicaid adjunctive eligibility. Medicaid adjunctive eligibility is currently under threat in Congress (particularly in the House of Representatives), so it’s important for members of Congress to hear from constituents about the importance of Medicaid adjunctive eligibility. For more information on the importance of adjunctive eligibility, please see our fact sheet. NWA also recently conducted a survey of state WIC directors about the importance of Medicaid adjunctive eligibility in their states. You can see some of the results here.
The main point that you want to stress when you speak with members of Congress is that for over 40 years, WIC has played a vital role in transforming the health and nutrition of vulnerable, low-income mothers and young children to age 5, and the program should therefore be protected and preserved. It is particularly powerful if you can provide local stories of WIC’s impacts and also local and/or state statistics on how WIC has improved health outcomes in your region.
If you have any questions at all about how to engage members of Congress while they are home on recess, please do not hesitate to contact Elisabet Eppes, Program Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 232-5492. Thank you for being a voice for WIC