National Complete Streets Coalition

Federal Policy Resources

Download Our Leave-Behind
Leave this one page document on the Safe Streets Act (.pdf) with your Member of Congress. It explains why we need Complete Streets and what the new bill means for our communities.

Safe Streets Act: Resources

Call Script

One of the best ways to show your support for the bill is to to call your Member of Congress. You can look up your Representative’s contact information on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website (upper right hand corner) or on GovTrack.us. Your Senators’ contact information can be found on the U.S. Senate’s website on GovTrack.us. Use our suggested script below when you call.

Calling Your Senator:

Good morning/afternoon/evening. My name is ______ and I’m a constituent from ______. I’m calling to ask Senator ______ to support the Safe Streets Act of 2014 (S. 2004), introduced by Senators Mark Begich and Brian Schatz.

Our roads should take into account the needs of people who are walking, bicycling, riding public transportation, and driving cars. Our streets should be safe for people of all ages — children to great-grandparents — and all abilities, incomes, and ethnicities.

(Share a personal story or explain why this issue is important to you.)

I’d like to get a response from Senator ______ explaining whether he/she is willing to co-sponsor S. 2004, the Safe Streets Act. Should I leave you my email or mailing address?

Thank you for your time.

Calling Your Representative:

Good morning/afternoon/evening. My name is ______ and I’m a constituent from ______. I’m calling to ask Representative ______ to co-sponsor the bipartisan Safe Streets Act (H.R. 2468) introduced by Representatives Doris Matsui and David Joyce.

Our roads should take into account the needs of people who are walking, bicycling, riding public transportation, and driving cars. Our streets should be safe for people of all ages — children to great-grandparents — and all abilities, incomes, and ethnicities.

(Share a personal story or explain why this issue is important to you.)

I’d like to get a response from Representative ______ explaining whether he/she is willing to co-sponsor H.R. 2468. Should I leave you my email or mailing address?

Thank you for your time.

Did you talk to your Senators or Representative about Complete Streets? Let us know! Use our contact form or info@completestreets.org.

Schedule an In-District Meeting

In-district, in-person meetings are one of the best ways to show support for Complete Streets because you can put a face to the cause. Use our guide to in-district meetings (.pdf) and the below resources to set up and have an effective meeting with your Congressional representatives and their staff.

Scheduling tips:

  1. Know the name of the office scheduler. This is the only person in the office who will be able to take your request for a meeting and this is whom you ask for by name when you call. When you send your letter of request, you should put it to the attention of this person to ensure that it gets to the appropriate desk for review.
  2. Be prepared to fax information to the scheduler for their review. This correspondence should provide a brief background of why you want to meet with the official and when. It is important to mention that you are a constituent, and while it is okay and usually helpful to state the issue you’d like to discuss, you should not be too opinionated on that issue in your letter. See our sample meeting request (.docx) letter as an example.
  3. Keep in mind that officials have very busy schedules, so it is recommended that you only ask to meet with them for a 15 – 30 minute time slot.
  4. It is recommended that before calling the scheduler you first fax your request for a meeting so they have time to look at the official’s schedule and availability.
  5. Next, call the scheduler, introduce yourself, mention that you are a constituent, and let him/her know that you are following up on a request to meet with your representative in the district office. Let the scheduler know when, exactly, you faxed your request, so that they are more easily able to locate it.
  6. Sometimes requests are lost in elected officials’ scheduling offices. If the scheduler says that he/she did not receive your fax or cannot find it, don’t panic! Calmly suggest that you can re-fax the same document or can send it via email if that is most convenient.
  7. If the scheduler tells you that the office needs more time to assess your representative’s availability on that day, let him/her know that you will follow up by calling back in another few days. Keep asking! Schedulers have many, many requests coming through the office, so in order to ensure that you are not forgotten or your request hidden under a stack of other papers, do follow-up and call again.
  8. Finally, thank the scheduler for their time and effort, and let them know that you appreciate this opportunity to meet with your official.

Two critical pieces to making this meeting a success:

1. Make the Point: Safe travel options for people of all ages and abilities are essential to your community. Choose two or three talking points that your group can best illustrate in this meeting. See our guide to in-district meetings (.pdf) for more information.

2. Make the Ask: Ask your representative to co-sponsor the Safe and Complete Streets Act. In the House, this is H.R. 2468, introduced by Representatives Matsui and Joyce. In the Senate, this is S. 2004, introduced by Senators Begich and Schatz.

Who to bring to the meeting:

We suggest bringing three to five community leaders to the meeting, including public health leaders, state legislators, elected officials or staff in communities that have adopted Complete Streets policies, and leaders from your local transportation advocacy groups. You may also draw on local leaders you know from National Complete Streets Coalition organizations, such as AARP, the American Planning Association, or transit agency officials.

What to bring to the meeting:

  • Complete Streets issue brief
  • Relevant news stories and/or facts from your community
  • Information about any Complete Streets policy in your community or region (check our Altas if you are unsure whether or not there is a policy in your Member’s district)
  • One or two Complete Streets fact sheets that you think will resonate with your elected official

After the meeting:

Be sure to send a thank you note within three days to those with whom you meet and to provide them with any materials they requested. Provide a final summary of your visit’s key points.

Please let Laura Searfoss (lsearfoss@completestreets.org) know about the meeting and how your Representative responded to your request to cosponsor the bill.

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