Tips on How to Arrange a Congressional Site Visit in Your Local Main Street District

Every day, Main Street programs reach out to a diverse group of stakeholders to share the success stories of commercial district revitalization and call for the policies, programs and resources that create a positive impact in communities to be supported. While speaking up for Main Street and communicating the power of the Main Street movement with decision-makers, such as members of Congress or even local partners, remains incredibly important, has your community and/or organization considered planning a site visit for elected officials, particularly for your Congressional representative? In-person advocacy can be highly effective, especially during the summer recesses, and an invaluable part of your advocacy efforts!

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a site visit is worth ten thousand.”

– Renee Kuhlman, Director of Policy Outreach, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Recently, the NTHP hosted a free webinar for communities on how-to organize an effective site visit for officials. Hearing about Main Street examples of success and receiving tips from a former Congressional scheduler, participants learned best practices around what to do before, during and after a site visit. From scheduling, which is the most difficult aspect of the site visit, to determining your ask or what it is that you’re hoping your legislator will support, the NTHP has crafted a useful overview – Arranging a Site Visit with Elected Officials – to help you organize your efforts and prioritize important tasks when planning a site visit. Also, if you weren’t able to attend the live webinar, check out the recording!

Visiting a project or neighborhood provides legislators with a unique opportunity to see first-hand how their government is leveraging significant private investment through the reuse of historic buildings and other projects that create jobs, spur economic activity and preserve the character of one’s community. That’s why the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), Main Street America (MSA) and other preservation allies throughout the country are here to support your advocacy efforts and assist you with setting up a site visit for your elected official(s) should you require guidance.

Need help getting started? Reach out to the following / appropriate individual(s):

NTHP Government Relations Staff

National Trust Community Investment Corporation

Main Street America

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA 7th District) visits Louisa, Virginia

Image Credit: NBC News