ACP Leadership Day 2024 Congressional Meetings FAQs

May 14-15, 2024

(Tentative Program Agenda)

Leadership Day 2024 will be held at the Westin Washington DC Downtown Hotel in Washington, DC on May 14-15, 2024. The centerpiece of this event are the meetings our members have with their members of Congress and their staff. To help you prepare/know what to expect for your meetings, we have developed this document to address the logistics and process for the set-up of the meetings.

1. How will congressional meetings work?

All congressional meetings will be scheduled for attendees and chapters by ACP National. Please do not contact any legislative office directly regarding your appointments. We are coordinating a large number of meetings and want to keep confusion to a minimum. Our scheduler will make every effort to choregraph meeting schedules so attendees can adequately adjust to needing to be physically on Capitol Hill for a meeting.

2. How is ACP national scheduling meetings?

ACP national works with an outside consulting firm, Soapbox Consulting, to schedule meetings with members of Congress. Anyone wanting to participate in congressional meetings must be registered for Leadership Day. Attendees will be put in teams with other ACP members based on your home and work addresses, with consideration given to existing relationships you may have with members of Congress. The number of congressional meetings scheduled for you will be based on your state/district, and we will try to ensure the greatest quantity of meetings possible for your chapter.

3. What are the security protocols in place on Capitol Hill?

Anyone entering a Congressional office building must pass through a security check point with a metal detector and x-ray machine, with rules similar to security screening at airports and other federal buildings. While shoes do not need to be removed, people are encouraged to travel lightly to facilitate a smooth process. Once through security screening at the entrance of the House and Senate office buildings, visitors may proceed to their destination without staff escort or pre-registration.

4. When will I receive my Capitol Hill meetings schedule?

One week before the event, every participant will receive a “Soapbox Mobile Tool Code” via email. This code will allow you to easily access your draft schedule through a simple web site. (Good news: The Soapbox Mobile Tool is NOT an APP and does not require any additional downloads or installation.)  If you have any questions or comments about your Capitol Hill schedule, you will be encouraged to contact Soapbox directly after receiving your Mobile Tool Code. Preliminary issues briefs and other information will also be available on the Soapbox Mobile Tool.

As part of the Conference Program in Washington, DC, advocates will receive a Final Printed Schedule and Map of Capitol Hill from Soapbox (during the “Capitol Hill Logistics Session.”)  This mandatory session will provide you an opportunity to meet your other team-members and make any final adjustments to your individual schedule. There will also be a staffed Congressional Help Desk after this session for any last-minute questions or changes. Please plan on attending.

5. What if I haven’t received my schedule?

Your schedule will be emailed to you from Soapbox Consulting. Please check your SPAM folder and verify the accuracy of the email address you provided when you registered. If your schedule is not in your SPAM folder as of May 8, please contact Shuan Tomlinson at

6. What is the time commitment for me to participate in Leadership Day event?

Leadership Day is on May 14-15. We recommend that all Leadership Day participants attend both days of the event (not just the day of the congressional meetings) in order to hear about ACP messaging and priorities.

7. How should you plan for speaking roles for your chapter members during your congressional meetings?

Each meeting could last a minimum of 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes depending on the congressional office and whether that meeting is with the lawmaker or just staff. Depending on the size of your group, not everyone will be able to speak at each meeting. If you have a large chapter delegation, with perhaps many participating in a single meeting, we recommend that you coordinate beforehand on whom among you may take the lead role and what issues each of you will cover (briefly).

8. Are there breaks between meetings?

As much as possible, our approach is to schedule your meetings with at least one hour between “start times” anticipating up to 30 minutes per meeting with excess time allotted in case a meeting runs longer.

9. Will I actually meet with members of Congress?

When meeting requests are submitted to congressional offices, they are first made with the lawmaker with the understanding that the lawmaker might not be available, and that the policy/legislative staff may attend either with or in place of the lawmaker. Meetings scheduled with congressional staff should not be looked upon disfavorably as those individuals are typically experts who advise lawmakers on the issues. Congressional staff can also provide you with information on the lawmaker’s position on ACP legislative priorities and relay your story to the lawmaker.

10. Will I have access to leave-behinds documents/issue briefs to give to my members of Congress?

Yes. Every congressional office you meet with should receive one complete set of our “leave-behind” materials. Our traditional Leadership Day “leave-behind” documents (referred to as issue briefs) will be distributed to participants both as a paper handout that can be given to your member or staff during your meetings and electronically on the Mobile Tool and Client Dashboard that can be submitted electronically to congressional offices. The issue briefs will also be available on the Leadership Day webpage and in the Leadership Day HUB.

11. What if my availability changes?

Please let us know, as soon as possible, if you are no longer able to participate in any or certain meetings, especially if you might be the only one attending from your chapter. If you are unable to participate, please contact Shuan Tomlinson at or 800-338-2746 ext. 4547.

12. How can I prepare to meet with my lawmakers?

The Leadership Day HUB and Leadership Day webpage will give you access to specific resources that will help you prepare.  These include issues briefs outlining ACP’s asks of Congress, a list of bills supported by ACP, the makeup of key congressional committees, links to websites/social media for your lawmakers, and tips on advocacy.

On May 14, the day before you meet with your members of Congress, ACP national will provide educational briefings on ACP priorities issues, advocacy training, and a demonstration of the congressional meeting platform, SoapBox Mobile Tool. Your ACP Chapter may also decide to host additional preparation/training calls in advance of the event on your own.

13. What is the appropriate dress code for my meetings with my member of Congress?

We recommend that you dress in typical business attire for your meetings. The idea is to establish credibility with congressional offices as a potential resource on health care issues. Please wear comfortable shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking.

14. How do I easily provide feedback to ACP national staff and my chapter leaders about each of my meetings?

The SoapBox Mobile Tool will allow you to provide feedback on meetings, including whether follow-up with offices is needed. We recommend you provide feedback soon as possible after each meeting while the contents/discussion is still fresh in your mind. You might also want to schedule a chapter “debriefing” session on your own as a follow-up to the event.

15. Will I get a preview of the Mobile Tool in advance so I understand the electronic format and can get accustomed to the interface?

Yes. We will make the Mobile Tool available in advance once schedules and materials come together so you can familiarize yourself with the set-up.

16. What if an ACP member participating in Leadership Day personally disagrees with one or more of the legislative issues selected for advocacy during the event?

With a diverse membership of more than 161,000 internal medicine physician specialists, and medical student members, we understand that not every member will agree with every aspect of ACP policy. Yet our policy development process ensures that the diversity of membership views are considered throughout the process. While we strive to select issues for Leadership Day that can enjoy the broadest possible support from our members participating in the event, and from members of Congress of both political parties, there may be times when an issue is selected that an ACP member-participant disagrees with. In such situations, we do not expect that the participant will advocate for a position that they do not support, but we do ask that they not advocate against ACP policy in their conversations with lawmakers and staff, since this would hurt ACP’s influence by signaling lack of unity among our membership. In such cases, we would encourage other members from their state to speak in support of ACP’s legislative “asks.”

We also ask that meeting participants only discuss the Leadership Day legislative issues in congressional meetings. Participants can reach out to lawmakers or their staff after Leadership Day if there are other issues they want to discuss.

Additionally, ACP members who disagree with ACP policy on a given issue can seek to have it changed through resolutions from their chapter to the Board of Governors; Leadership Day itself, since it is not a policy-making body or event, has no ability to change adopted ACP policies.

17. What happens if an issue ACP has selected for Leadership Day is one that may not be well-received by some members of Congress, because they disagree with ACP’s recommendations? Should it still be brought up in meetings with them?

Congress can be highly partisan and polarized, with Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike often at odds, and with limited willingness by them to compromise and find common ground. Yet ACP has found that despite such disagreements, we have been successful in advancing a variety of issues with bipartisan support. We always seek to bring a non-partisan agenda to Leadership Day that will enjoy support across the political aisle. Yet there may be times when an issue is so important to ACP, its members, and patients, that we are obligated to advocate for it during Leadership Day, even though it may be more, or less, well-received by some members of Congress depending on their own partisan identity and ideological orientation. In these and all cases, we make our arguments based on ACP policy, evidence, and the experiences of our members, not politics or partisanship. Even if we don’t persuade an individual lawmaker to support our policy on a given issue, we anticipate that we will find common ground on other issues on our Leadership Day agenda. We fully understand if Leadership Day participants want to put more emphasis on issues that their own legislators may be amendable to; ACP staff will provide tips the day before the visits on how to handle such situations when they come up.