Changing the Nature of Civic Engagement in the Era of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced immense change at every level of governance and for every institution. In policymaking and advocacy, this has resulted in remote hearings and votes and virtual meetings with constituents. No more lobby days on the Hill, meeting with members and staff in person. One key finding from a report published by the Congressional Management Foundation states that almost two-thirds of senior-level staffers agreed that, “My office is receiving more communications from constituents than we did before the COVID-19 crisis.”
Since March of 2020, lawmakers have heard more from their constituents due to the widespread adoption of online communication. The amount of time that Congress spends in-district has also increased and advocates have taken notice. The question is whether this type of virtual interaction is as or more effective than in-person advocacy. While NBCC believes in-person meetings are always best, virtual communication has helped bridge the accessibility gap between Congress and constituents during this time. And lawmakers anticipate many of these virtual options for communication will stay past the pandemic.
NBCC held virtual lobby days in 2020 and 2021, where hundreds of advocates across the country dialed into meetings with their Members regardless of their geography. Advocates informed their Members about NBCC’s top legislative and public policy priorities and engaged in dialogue around the issues.
Advocates held hill meetings with their elected officials in growing numbers during the pandemic using virtual and in-district options. As a result, advocates now have a greater opportunity to reach Congress and their staff where they are. The pandemic put many plans on hold, but NBCC has continued its effective advocacy efforts through utilizing new technologies and bolstering our communications in new and creative ways.
Get #VoteReady for National Voter Registration Day
NBCC has partnered with the National Voter Registration Day Organization to mobilize as many people as possible to register to vote. National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 28, 2021, and NBCC wants you to join us in an online campaign to help people register to vote. NBCC has put together this social media toolkit, which includes pre-made posts encouraging people to take steps to get #VoteReady.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Jessica Francis at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you all participate on National Voter Registration Day!
Take Action in the Action Center
We need your voice on Capitol Hill. You can show your support for the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act (S.1312/H.R.3183) by sending personalized messages to your Members of Congress. Visit the NBCC Action Center and urge your Members to cosponsor this lifesaving legislation with just a few clicks.
Upcoming Townhall Meetings Happening Near You
Attention Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Utah advocates: representatives in your states will be holding upcoming town hall meetings. Townhall meetings are a great way to get your voice heard by your Members in the district. Whether virtual or in-person, townhalls offer an additional platform to get NBCC’s public policy priorities in front of legislators. The upcoming town hall meetings are listed below:
On Friday, September 17, 2021, at 1:00 pm EDT, Rep. Mary Scanlon (D-PA-05) will hold a virtual town hall meeting. Get more information here.
On Thursday, September 23, 2021, at 11:30 am EDT, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) will hold a virtual town hall meeting. Get more information here.
On Thursday, September 23, 2021, at 6:00 pm EDT, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC-05) will hold a virtual town hall meeting. Get more information here.
On Thursday, October 7, 2021, at 5:30 pm MDT, Rep. John Curtis (R-UT-03) will hold a town hall meeting in American Fork, Utah. Get more information here.
NBCC increases federal funding for breast cancer research, monitors how research funds are spent, expands access to quality health care, and ensures that trained advocates influence all decisions affecting breast cancer. Join NBCC and thousands of others to keep breast cancer a priority for Congressional and state policymakers. Join our efforts today.