Lobbying Action Plan - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)

Lobbying Action Plan

MARCH 29, 2002


Lawmakers are now back home for the Spring recess through April 7. Call their local office and make an appointment to meet with them to talk about deposit insurance reform. A face-to-face meeting is the most effective way to communicate with a Senator or Representative.

If you don't know the telephone number of their local office, call their Washington office (202-225-3121, and ask for your Senators or Representative by name) to find out.

If you cannot get a timely appointment, find out when they are holding office hours or a town hall meeting (or listening session) in your area. Go to that meeting and speak with your Representative.

At a minimum, arrange to talk to him or her by telephone. Direct contact is much more effective than indirect forms of communication, such as letters or e-mails.

Ask your directors and employees to do the same. If you can, dedicate a room or office as a "telephone bank" and encourage your employees to place calls to your Representative.

When you talk to your Representative, tell him or her exactly what you want: "We need you to support H.R. 3717 without amendments that weaken the bill. We need you to stand behind higher FDIC coverage levels for individual accounts, retirement accounts, and municipal deposits."

And ask specifically for a commitment to support this position.

Once you have made contact, follow up with a letter addressed to the district office in your state (regular mail service to Capitol Hill takes up to three weeks because of security precautions). A fax to the district or Washington office also is a good way to follow up.

Be persistent! Remember what is at stake. In a Main Street vs. Wall Street battle, make sure your Representative chooses Main Street.