Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What if my Member of Congress is unable to meet with me?
The duties of an AACE Key Contact are ongoing and the only way to become effective is to be persistent, enthusiastic and committed. Do not get discouraged if your Member(s) of Congress has a full schedule or provides a form letter response to your concerns. If the Member is unavailable, consider scheduling a meeting with the health care staff member. Staff members are available to discuss health care issues and share the information with the Senator/Representative. If you communicate on a regular basis, your Member of Congress and their staff will become more familiar with you and the issues that you feel are most important. Ultimately, they will begin to rely on your opinion and information as a resource. With perseverance and initiative, you can establish a relationship and the task at hand may not be as difficult or overwhelming as you may think.
What if my political beliefs are different from the Member’s?
It is not necessary to align yourself politically with the Member(s) of Congress for whom you serve as a Key Contact. The goal of the AACE Key Contact Program is to ensure that the endocrinologist’s voice is heard on Capitol Hill. As a Key Contact, you will have the opportunity to influence issues affecting clinical endocrinologists and their patients by discussing AACE’s legislative priorities with policymakers. Providing accurate and expert information on health care issues will be very beneficial and persuasive to your elected officials!
Do I have to contribute financially to a campaign to be an AACE Key Contact?
AACE does not require Key Contacts to contribute to campaigns, although voluntary contributions are a way of demonstrating your support not only for the candidate, but also for issues that are important to both of you. Contributions are not strictly monetary – consider contributing your time and efforts to the candidate’s election campaign, such as distributing yard signs or volunteering on phone banks. Or volunteer to organize some of your medical colleagues in the district to form an Advisory Committee to your Member of Congress on health care issues. The relationship between you and your Member(s) of Congress is a two-way street; you should expect to give something in return.
If you would prefer to combine your financial resources with other AACE members to enhance AACE’s ability to provide support to candidates for the United States Congress who will represent the interests of endocrinologists and our patients, please visit here for more information about the AACE Political Action Committee (AACEPAC).
What is a District Team Leader?
A District Team Leader will be a point of contact between AACE headquarters and local AACE Key Contact members for providing assistance and resources to initiate local contact with Members of Congress and to develop strong relationships with policy makers. The District Team Leader will serve as a primary AACE contact for their local representative and their staff on healthcare issues and assist/coordinate activities of AACE Key Contacts as needed. The Team Leader may also facilitate networking opportunities and other professional benefits with other AACE members. AACE’s goal is to identify a Key Contact member within each congressional district who will take a leadership role as a District Team Leader to enhance the effectiveness of the key contact program in advancing the legislative priorities of AACE and its members.
What are the duties of a District Team Leader?
The District Team Leader may be asked to contact AACE members in their area, via e-mail or phone, to facilitate AACE member communications with policymakers or to disseminate information of interest to AACE members in their area. Team leaders may help coordinate local AACE member attendance at town hall meetings or candidate campaign events, and serve as an informational resource on health care issues to the local Member of Congress and their staff. AACE staff will provide whatever assistance you need to fulfill your role as a District Team Leader.
Can I be an advocate for AACE without joining the Key Contact program?
If you are unable to meet the duties of a Key Contact and prefer to be an advocate for endocrinologists and their patients through other means, we recommend you register at the AACE Legislative Action Center so you can stay updated on current events and receive legislative action alerts. The Legislative Action Center allows you to send pre-written e-mails directly to your Representative and Senators that address issues affecting clinical endocrinologists. To register with the AACE Legislative Action Center and view issues currently affecting clinical endocrinologists, click here.
We do encourage you to sign up for the AACE Key Contact Program and develop a personal relationship with your Members of Congress. It’s easy to do and requires very little time.
Does AACE have information about current priorities?
Information about AACE’s current legislative priorities, as well as the AACE Grassroots Advocacy Network Manual and District Meeting Toolkit, can be located on the AACE “Resources for District Meetings” page.
I have a relationship with a Representative in another district. Am I required to be a Key Contact for the Representative in my area?
Your personal relationship with a Member of Congress is an invaluable resource to the Key Contact program, even if you are not one of their constituents. While AACE encourages you to develop a relationship with your elected Representative (or Senators), AACE understands that due to political or personal reasons, this may not be desirable. In that case, we encourage you to identify any Members of Congress that you have a personal relationship with outside of your geographic area.
What if I have additional questions?
For additional questions or information, please contact Sara Milo, AACE Director of Legislation and Governmental Affairs.