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A Hill Day Q&A … Please Join Us

April 6, 2018

What is the goal of Hill Day? We take one day (April 25) and schedule 60 or more meetings with appropriators, authorizers, and leadership. We tell them about FDA, help them see why the agency is important to many different stakeholders and explain why FDA’s resources need to increase.

Who will we meet with on Hill Day? The meetings will be with both personal office and committee staff. They will range from legislative assistants to legislative directors, from health policy fellows to staff directors. The general ground we cover is the same in each meeting, but it is always adapted to the existing knowledge level of the person we meet with. Sometimes we deliver very basic messages, other times we have very sophisticated discussions.

How is Hill Day organized?  Every participant with be part of a 4 to 6 person team that will be assigned 6 or 7 meetings for the day. To the extent possible, each team will have a variety of different stakeholders, emphasizing to the Hill how many facets of American life are affected by FDA actions. We try our best to group meetings, so that teams do not have to cross from House to Senate or yo-yo between Rayburn and Cannon.

Do I have to commit to a whole day of lobbying? No. We can accommodate participants who can only be available for morning or afternoon meetings, although we are grateful for anyone who can commit to the entire day.

Do I have to be an Alliance member to participate? We welcome all FDA advocates to join Hill day, regardless of whether they are Alliance members. Although we hope they will choose to join, we want to be sure that everybody — member and non-member — has a chance to speak up on FDA’s behalf.

Will I need to be able to speak about the overall FDA funding situation? Each team is led by a long-time Alliance member, who will set the context and direct the flow of the meeting. Most of the time, they will deliver the big picture message of the Alliance’s “ask.” We expect participants to present their perspective and explain why a well-funded FDA matters to their organization and its constituencies. Demonstrating the importance to the American people is also valuable.  We particularly welcome insights about the new initiatives contained in the President’s budget request.

Can I discuss my group’s concerns that are not tied to FDA resources and a well-run agency? The Alliance is a broad coalition of stakeholders who have come together to educate the Hill about FDA and to promote FDA funding. It is inappropriate to raise unrelated policy issues that might imply that the Alliance has a position. If on the way out of the meeting, you ask a staffer whether you can meet with them separately on an unrelated issue, that doesn’t raise any concerns for us.

Please sign up by e-mailing Eden Shiferaw or direct questions to Steven Grossman. We look forward to your participation.

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