Bringing physics to Capitol Hill
January 23 - 24, 2024
Congressional Visits Day (CVD) is APS’s annual kickoff advocacy event, bringing dozens of APS members to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of the physics community. Meetings with constituents are one of the most effective ways to influence policymakers, and for years, APS members have been incredible advocates for physics with Congress.
Every year, each APS member who attends CVD participates in an extensive training and preparation process, learning APS’s policy priorities so that they can speak confidently to their elected officials and Congressional staff.
Timeline before Congressional Visits Day
Before CVD, we will send you announcements and reminders via email to help you prepare, so be sure to check your email. You will also need to be sure you arrive in Washington, DC, in time to attend the in-person briefing on Jan. 23.
Before CVD, please be mindful of the following timeline:
- December 2023: APS will send you a confirmation email if you registered to participate in CVD. If you have not received confirmation by early December but believe you registered, please contact the APS Member Advocacy Senior Associate Charlotte Selton. Participants are expected to participate in all CVD training and programming. If your plans have changed, let us know to remove your registration.
- January 2 - 5, 2024: APS will contact you to inform you about the advocacy team you'll join and who your teammates will be. Teams will be based on geographic regions and may include team members from other states.
- January 10 - 16, 2024: You must attend a one-hour Zoom training to discuss messaging and logistics for your team. The training will also discuss specific strategies and talking points for skeptical offices.
Congressional Visits Day schedule
How to participate
We welcome both new advocates with no previous experience as well as APS leaders who have participated before! National lab employees are also able to fully participate – we will give you advice before CVD to help ensure you represent APS and yourself, not your employer.
Annual Leadership Meeting attendees can signify their interest in participating in CVD during the registration process. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate friends or family during CVD, so you will not be able to invite others. After you register for ALM, APS will contact you, and you will receive reminders and updates from us, so keep an eye on your email.
For first time CVD participants & reminders for returning attendees
We look forward to welcoming both new and returning participants to CVD. Whether this is your first time attending, or you'd like a refresher, please review the following tips:
- Set aside time to attend the trainings, including the online Zoom training and the in-person training on January 23. Training is required to participate in CVD.
- APS will book your hotel room, but you are responsible for arranging travel to and from Washington, DC.
- Metro, taxi, or rideshare are the best ways to travel from the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel to Capitol Hill.
- APS will provide you with your schedule on January 23 during the in-person CVD training. We cannot provide tentative schedules before this date.
- Please keep time in mind if you intend to visit tourist attractions in Washington during breaks in your schedule. The Lincoln Memorial is about two miles from the Capitol, and requires about 45 minutes of walking.
Preparing for CVD
To ensure you're ready, we ask that you:
- Check your email for frequent updates, reminders, and tips from APS.
- Think about how APS's policy priorities apply to you, your colleagues, your students, and the bigger picture of the state or district – personal stories mean a lot!
- Attend a virtual training, January 10 - 16, 2024, to prepare for CVD.
- Pack business-like attire, as well as a smartphone or laptop, earphones, a notebook, and a pen or pencil.
- Leave any weapons at home, as you will need to pass through airport-style security to enter congressional office buildings. Identification is not required to enter.
- Review the CVD event page for more information about what to expect.
- Arrange your travel to ensure you arrive in time to attend the in-person briefing on January 23, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt Washington. This briefing is when you'll receive your schedule for CVD, as well as training and additional information.
For the best possible experience for you and your teammates, you should:
- Block your schedule from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on January 24 for congressional meetings.
- Dress in business-like attire and be mindful that the weather may be chilly and you will be frequently walking between congressional office buildings.
- Plan for four to six meetings lasting about 15 to 30 minutes each between your team and congressional staffers, possibly some in-person and some virtual, which APS will schedule for you in advance.
- Stay focused on APS's five policy priorities for 2024 during your meetings on the Hill, especially our topline priority. The policy priorities will be released closer to CVD.
- Use your break time to fill out your congressional meetings outcome form, get snacks and coffee, catch up on email, and ask your senators or representative’s office if they have viewing tickets to see the House or Senate floor, or if they have anyone available to give you a tour.
- Keep your receipts from any meals not provided by APS, as well as airfare, taxi rides, and other expenses, so that you can be reimbursed.
After CVD: Reimbursements
Remember to keep all receipts for necessary travel expenses and any meals not provided by APS. After the Annual Leadership Meeting ends, APS will email you about reimbursements, including the reimbursement form that you will submit to APS via email with your receipts.
For questions about CVD, including any concerns about accessibility and disability accommodations, please contact APS Member Advocacy Senior Associate Charlotte Selton.
The 2024 policy priorities will be released closer to CVD.
In recent years, we’ve seen the issues our advocates advance during CVD result in pieces of legislation being introduced or passed. This is rare in advocacy and a testament to the dedication and skill of our member advocates.