Hey, you, yeah, YOU reading this. Are you coming to Bikers Inside the Beltway on May 14 & 15? If not then you can skip this article, but you also should reevaluate your decision making because Bikers Inside the Beltway (aka BITB) is one the MRF’s best events and is a good time for all.
Okay, if you are still reading this and you are confirmed to attend BITB or thinking about attending then you are going to want to absorb the following. Even if you are a long-time attendee – there is some good stuff you need to know. I am going to offer you a roadmap of what to do and how to do it as you prepare for BITB. Play along….
1. Register to attend! WHEN? ASAP!!!!
There’s no cost to you, but you do need to let us know you are coming because we need to make sure we have enough materials/space/etc. You can register at https://mrf.org/events/ or by calling 202-546-0983
2. Book Your Hotel WHEN? By April 15
We have 2 options for you – The Best Western in Falls Church for $125/night OR the Governor’s House Inn at $89/night. They are across the street from each other and a quick ride into the Capitol. Also, we’ll hold our prep session here on Monday night, May 14.
3. SCHEDULE Appointments with your Elected Officials WHEN? Start on April 16!
Okay, guys – this is the most important one. No more “drop bys” which many groups have done in the past. They are nowhere near as effective as scheduling an in-person meeting with the Member of Congress or staffer. Don’t know how to go about doing that? We’ve got you covered, so NO EXCUSES. See more on this below….
- Upon registering for the event (see item #1!) we will provide you with a list of contact information for your state’s delegation. It has very useful information like their phone number, email address, and location. USE THIS
- Email the contact person for the office you want to meet with – don’t know what to say? Don’t worry, the contact information sheet incudes language you can simply COPY & PASTE into an email. Easy peasy.
- Rather call instead? No problem. Call the phone number listed for the office you want to meet with and say, “I am going to be in Washington, DC on May 15 and would like to schedule a meeting with the Congressman (or Senator) related to motorcycling.” The receptionist will take it from there which may be sending an email (see above) or by connecting you to the SCHEUDLER (that’s basically the secretary) who will either give you a time for a meeting or connect you to the appropriate staff person. If they direct you to a staff meeting you’ll want to say: “If the Congressman (or Senator) is unavailable, I would be willing to meet with the staffer that handles transportation issues.” Then pick a time. Write it down. Carry on.
- One helpful hint – try to group your meetings in the same building. For SENATORS, that’s going to be Russell, Hart or Dirksen. For REPRESENTATIVES that’s going to be Cannon, Longworth or Rayburn. If you try to group your meetings by building, its going to save you a LOT of walking
- One more helpful hint – for those of you with large delegations for which you can’t possibly see all in one day, pick those Representatives where a constituent (that’s someone that lives in their district) will be present for the meeting. Still have time to see more folks? Ask me who you think you should make an appointment to see. I can steer you towards the Representatives or Senators where you’re more likely to make headway on the issues.
4. Find a Way to Get to Washington, D.C.
Fly, train, walk or RIDE – we need you here by Monday, May 14 at 7:00pm. We’ll gather together, go over the issues, provide you with handouts to distribute during your meetings and answer any questions. The early Tuesday morning, we’ll be KSU and headed to the Capitol.
This year we’re also hosting a “debrief” session at the local American Legion just a couple blocks from the Capitol. Starting at 3pm you can drop by, download on your meetings, have a drink and some food courtesy of our BITB sponsors and compare notes and any follow-up that’s necessary.
If you’ve got more questions just drop me a line….
Via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Via landline 202-546-0983
Via text message 202-725-5471
SEE YOU IN WASHINGTON, D.C.!
Vice-President Government Affairs & Public Relations, Motorcycle Riders Foundation