Like so many things in 2020, the pandemic impacted how organizations could lobby for changes to legislation. Those calling congressional offices often found their calls going to voicemail while critical relief legislation was being actively created.
American Families United focuses on issues for families where a US citizen is married to someone in various stages of the immigration process. Many of these families were left out of the original stimulus. With a second round of stimulus being discussed as part of the omnibus spending bill (H.R. 133 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021), the team at American Families United knew they needed to find a solution to their outreach issues.
Using Congress Plus, they were able to start a dialog with key staff in offices of both Republican and Democratic senators to schedule critical meetings with constituents to lobby for change. Further, they were able to speak directly with the staff that were actively drafting the legislation. They kept track of their engagements and progress in Congress Plus.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to spend numerous hours calling the offices of Senators and Members of Congress to set up appointments. With Congress Plus we were able to quickly reach out to key staff members, even after staff turnover. In a critical moment, Congress Plus made the difference in identifying new staff after office turnover, and enabled us to get constituents in front of the right people at the right time.” — Edgar Falcon, President, American Families United
As a result of this effort, American Families United helped secure relief for more than 1.9 million families to the tune of $5.8 billion.