|The Follow-Up Letter|
You planned, researched, prepared, and met with a Member of Congress, or their staff. Now you are ready for the important follow-up work. This is your opportunity to turn action into results.
Use the following letter as a guide to craft a clear and thorough post-visit letter. You should send this as soon as possible after your meeting. The more on top of it you are, the more respect and sincerity you will demand from the Member's office.
If you have not heard back from the office in a week, it's a great idea to call and make sure your contact in the office received your letter. Neither email, fax, or mail are flawless; so we must be persistent.
The Office of the Honorable____________________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr./Ms./Rep. correct spelling of person(s) you met with,
Thank you for taking time to meet with me/us on date to consider HR 1707, the Latin American Military Training Review Act of 2007, legislation which would suspend operations at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly named the United States Army School of the Americas (SOA). I/We appreciate your time and openness to dialogue about this issue.
As we discussed, this legislation is important because here is where you insert a clear reiteration of the effective points of what you discussed on your visit; or the points you wished you had said. You can use the talking points as a reference.
If you promised more information, clarification, or an answer to a question, make sure you provide it. Call the SOA Watch office if you need help. Make sure you remind them that they asked for the information and that you have provided it. This helps build trust in your relationship.
Please send me a statement of your position on this legislation that will seek truth and accountability for the injustices endured as a result of SOA/WHINSEC training. Please let me know if I can provide any more information to you to help ensure Representative _________’s defense of human rights and co-sponsorship of HR 1707. If you would like to play a larger role in championing this issue, please contact School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) at 202-234-3440.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you.