Make your voice heard: Attend an AVMA congressional town hall meeting

Published on July 12, 2021
Capitol building

AVMA members have a unique opportunity to learn about and influence legislative issues impacting the veterinary profession.

Attend AVMA virtual town hall meetings with Washington lawmakers to connect first-hand with the senators and representatives who influence and make decisions on these policies.

AVMA holds between four and six virtual town halls per year featuring members of Congress from both parties. The meetings typically include a guest speaker from the House of Representatives or Senate who has ties to the veterinary profession—as a member of either the Veterinary Medicine Caucus or a congressional committee that deals with key veterinary priorities. Attendees can submit questions for the guest both before and during the event.

Stakeholders from the lawmaker’s district often are present as well, including leaders from the state’s veterinary medical association, veterinary colleges, and AVMA volunteer leaders from the state. AVMA members in the guest’s district or state also are invited.

The meetings usually run 45-60 minutes and create opportunities for participants to directly influence the lawmaking process. In 2020, 227 veterinarians participated in 10 virtual town halls and roundtables with members of Congress. Topics that were discussed included prescription mandates, COVID-19 relief, student debt, funding for key research programs, and more.

Invitations are emailed to all current AVMA Political Action Committee (AVMA PAC) members. You can learn more by visiting avma.org/PAC.

Advocating for the profession: AVMA has your back

Congressional town hall meetings are just one example of how AVMA empowers the veterinary community to advocate for the profession. There are many other opportunities:

  • Join AVMA’s Congressional Advocacy Network (AVMA CAN)

    AVMA CAN gives you ready-to-use tools to connect with your congressional representative and speak up on issues that impact veterinarians, our patients, and our clients.

  • Become an AVMA ambassador
    The AVMA Ambassador Program connects veterinarians directly with members of Congress in their home state. Ambassadors build personal relationships with lawmakers, ensuring that these legislators hear directly from constituent veterinarians about important issues.
  • Participate in a congressional fellowship
    The congressional fellowship program offers AVMA members the opportunity to work for one year in Washington as a scientific advisor to a member of Congress.
  • Attend a legislative fly-in event
    During AVMA’s legislative fly-in, you’ll gain hands-on advocacy experience by meeting with your members of Congress to advocate on top policy issues affecting veterinary medicine.

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