First, thank you for taking the time to volunteer in this important effort as CWOA continues to work to strengthen our grassroots presence across the country. We thank all of you for being so interested in strengthening our Coast Guard and ensuring our Coasties and Veterans receive the help and assistance they need, especially in such tight fiscal times. We wanted to touch base and go over a few things about the program before we send our volunteers on their way.
Congressional Meeting Requirements and Expectations: This is a Federal and State outreach program, so we need our volunteers to note the difference between Federal Congress versus State Legislature. Liaisons should stick to Federal issues of concern to CWOA (CWOA’s National Resolutions and Legislative Objectives) that benefit all members of the Coast Guard and Veteran communities. Most states will have similar legislative priorities but it is key not to confuse the two.
We are asking our Liaisons to meet with their Representatives at least twice a year, preferably once in the late spring and once in the late summer/early fall. Given travel and time constraints of volunteers, we ask for at least 1 meeting with each of your Senators, and if possible, one meeting with your Representatives.
You must be a permanent resident of the State you have requested to liaison with, otherwise your Senator/Representative will not accept meetings with you and you would be acting as a ‘lobbyist’ rather than a concerned constituent. As constituents, you are not required to register as a lobbyist, thus you are exempt from any Lobbying Disclosure rules.
Coordinating with CWOA Headquarters: After Liaisons meet with their Representatives, they should send a brief report to CWOA’s Chief Policy Officer, Aniela Szymanski, who will help send a compilation of updates/subject conversations of Liaisons’ meetings to CWOA’s Executive Director, Michael Little.
Resources: CWOA has a wide array of resources available on the website for you to become familiar with Legislation and Coast Guard / Veteran issues and concerns:
CWOA Leg. Objectives: (Coming Soon)
CWOA National Resolutions: (Coming Soon)
CWOA Bills of Interest (We support/monitor): (Coming Soon)
CWOA Fact Sheets: (Coming Soon)
CWOA Legislative Alerts: (Coming Soon)
Congressional Schedule: The best time to meet with your Representatives is when Congress is in recess and they are in their State/District offices. The House Majority Leader schedules these ‘recess’ days for House Members and they can be found on the House Calendar at: https://www.majorityleader.gov/calendar . Senate ‘recess’ days, marked in red, can be found on the Senate Calendar at: https://www.senate.gov/legislative/2023_schedule.htm . For a schedule of when your state Representatives is in office you can click here: https://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/2023-state-legislative-session-calendar.aspx and look for your individual state.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to either of us, Michael Little or Aniela Szymanski, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or by calling 202-963-1793.
Michael J. Little Aniela Szymanski
CWOA Executive Director CWOA Chief Policy Officer
The views expressed in the articles in this publication are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizations for which they work, CWOAUSCG, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, or the U.S. government.