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Informational Email 2008-12 - Local Congressional Visits Day
Marcos Huerta
John Bahcall Public Policy Fellow
huerta at

The AAS is planning to coordinate a "local congressional visits day" during the August recess, which I mentioned in my recent Washington News column and in the monthly announcements. The congressional "district work period" is almost a month in length from August 11th to September 5th, so there will be opportunities for AAS members to visit local offices and perhaps meet your local member of Congress - either in the district where you work or where you live.

While most local district offices will not have staff with scientific expertise, the offices do have less turnover and it should be a way to establish rapport and relationships with the local office.

Also, since we are scheduling this during the recess, you may have a chance to meet with the actual member. And since district offices are likely nearby, it will be easy for students to either attend, or accompany faculty members on such a visit.

The primary purpose of a local visit will be to tell your story and describe your institution. You can let the office know you're a resource if they have questions, inform them about the scientific and outreach events that your department or institution sponsors, and how these enhance the local community and state.

The AAS will provide some downloadable documents to leave behind, information on contacting the local office and scheduling a visit, and depending on the number of interested AAS members, coordinate one or more conference calls before the recess to brief attendees and answer questions.

If you would like to participate in making a local visit, please contact me at huerta at by July 31. Information will also be updated at: and there will be posts on the blog in the coming weeks.

I'll contact all those who email me expressing interest with additional information and links to materials as we get closer to the dates of the recess.

Mailed US members from 16 July 2008

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