Senate District Office Visit Toolkit

Use this toolkit to plan your Senate District Office visit July 9-July 13.

Save SCOTUS

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Blue graphic with words that say "Save SCOTUS at Senate District Offices nationwide. Monday, July 9 - Friday, July 13."

State of Play

Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Justice Kennedy’s retirement sets up a monumental shift in the balance of the Supreme Court. Kennedy was often (but not always) a moderating force on the Court, and was key to many instrumental decisions on issues that affect us all. Kavanaugh, on the other hand, is a partisan Republican and an extremist who will set the Court back decades on reproductive rights, health care, LGBTQ rights, money in politics, environmental protection, and more. Further, he is likely to prevent Trump from accountability for his corruption and crimes.

If Trump successfully installs Kavanaugh to fill that seat, the Court will rubber stamp the Trump agenda for a generation to come. Kavanaugh was part of Trump’s “short list” of 25 possible justices, each of whom was screened for their willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade and undo the Affordable Care Act.  His nomination puts settled rights like abortion, marriage equality, and health care back under threat.

Senators need to immediately feel the pressure to protect our rights and oppose Kavanaugh.

Strategy

Plain and simple: we need 51 senators to oppose this nominee on the floor. Let’s be clear: Democrats have no way to hold up this confirmation or delay the process. Mitch McConnell can and will hold a vote on Trump’s pick.

In order to get 51, we need both Democrats to stick together, and we need to pick up at least a couple of Republicans.

Only through intense pressure from constituents will senators understand what’s at stake and what’s expected of them. They need to know that their constituents demand that they save our democracy by Kavanaugh.

Now that Trump has announced his nominee, we've kicked off a week of action at in-district Senate offices, to show senators immediately that constituents are paying attention.

Click here for more information on Indivisible’s 2-step strategy to secure 51 votes against the nominee, then retake power in the Senate.

Planning a #SaveSCOTUS Event

As soon as possible, hold a planning meeting to set up your district office visit so you’re ready to take action to stop Kavanaugh. The Week of Action will take place between July 9 and July 13.

1. Decide on a the best time and day for your event. 

If you are coordinating with other groups and/or partners in your state, consider having events at multiple offices across the state at the same time to maximize your impact! 

Another good option is to have each group pick a day within the Week of Action, to sustain the momentum throughout the week.

2. Once you have chosen a date and time, register the event(s)  online so that others can find it and promote it!

3. Make a recruitment/promotion plan.

Start with a recruitment goal for your event. How many new faces do you want in the crowd? How many seasoned activists? Having a goal will help you target your recruitment.

Once registered, make sure to advertise the event link to your social media channels, listserv members, and through word of mouth.


Call each member of your local Indivisible group, and personally invite them to join you in this action.


Invite other members of your community, including your friends and family.


Make fliers and hand them out or post them  at events in your community.

4. Prepare any props/costumes/artwork. 

Idea #1: Make paper gavels (watch a how-to video here) and write messages on them to leave with your senator. (E.g. important rights and issues that must be protected, like health care or the right to choose.) This is an opportunity to tell your story. How might Kavanaugh affect you if he is on the Court? Maybe your access to health care would be hurt. Maybe reproductive justice is important to you. Be sure to share that and sign your name.

Idea #2: Have at least one participant dress up like Lady Justice with a blindfold and weighted “scales of justice”. Your senators work for you -- and you’ll ultimately be judging them on whether they stand up for justice and oppose Kavanaugh.

Collect stories from concerned constituents who oppose extremist nominees for the Court and have whoever dresses up as Lady Justice read them aloud.

Idea #3: Dress up in judicial robes. They are easy to make with simple black fabric, or you could use black graduation robes.

Idea #4: Bring a symbol of an issue that matters to you that would be under threat in an extremist Supreme Court -- such as women’s rights or LGBTQ+ rights.

5. Invite media.

Send a media advisory to local media contacts 1-2 days in advance (see tips below).

The morning of the event, call your local TV stations to confirm they received the media advisory and ask if they plan to attend.

See more tips on reaching out to media here.

6. Identify key roles that you will need for the event:

Main speaker/MC: Good (and LOUD!) public speaker who will control the bullhorn or microphone and introduce other speakers. This person might also be the person in costume, if you bring judge’s robes or have Lady Justice present at your event.

Storytellers: Identify group members who are willing to share their stories of how Kavanaugh will negatively affect them and their community. Have these speakers write a quick draft of their remarks and share with the group for feedback.

Inside office lead: If your MoC’s office doesn’t let groups of people inside, designate one person (or 2-3 people) to deliver your gavels, or handwritten letters from constituents vowing to vote your senator out/sending their support, depending on their position, to make sure their office knows they are on notice!

Photographer/videographer:. Ask one person to take photos and one person to take video. Make sure either or both of these people make it inside the office!

Social media coordinator: At least one person (could also be the photographer) should be tweeting out photos of the event in real time!

Media liaison: Press-savvy person to put out a media advisory and pitch reporters on coming to your event. Check out our “How to Get Press to Cover Your Event” and  “Press Releases, Media Advisories, and More” resources if you need help!

Art director: Person in charge of supplies and crafts for posters, signs, and materials!  

After you walk through the event and folks commit to roles, everyone should work together to help create signs and props for your event!

Before the event

On the day of  #SaveSCOTUS event

1. Gather the people who have key roles at least 45 minutes before the event. Bring snacks and water, assemble any art pieces that need assembly, test any technology, make reminder calls to everyone who signed up to attend.

Ask the rest of the attendees to show up at least 15 minutes before the event to remind everyone the importance of the event and how fundamental freedoms and rights are at stake if Kavanaugh gets confirmed. Explain the plan of action and get into position.

2. The Social Media Coordinator should record, live-tweet and/or Facebook-live the entire experience, reading out some of the messages that are being handed over to the senator’s staff person. If no staff person is willing to meet with constituents, tape your handwritten messages and posters to the door/entrance of the office (please use tape that will not leave a residue when removed, so masking tape or similar, not duct tape).

Make sure that you are recording and taking photos horizontally, not vertically. It really helps the video get shared and makes it usable for press.

Be sure to tag your senator.


Be sure to tag @IndivisibleTeam on Twitter.

Post photos of the action to your social media accounts!

Send your stories, pictures, and best practices to stories@indivisible.org


1. Email your attendees to thank them for a great action.
Immediate follow up is important!

2. Invite all attendees and organizers to a debrief meeting.
Write an agenda that allows both organizers and participants to reflect, and that allows space for forward planning and improvement.

3. Establish next steps—your senator needs to keep hearing from you!
One action, or even one senator, isn’t enough: read more about Indivisible's 2-Step Strategy to Save SCOTUS with scripts so that you can continue to call your senators  here.

Next Steps

#SaveSCOTUS