On Jan. 5, ASAE sent a letter to Congress asking for guidance regarding the future of in-person constituent meetings in the House and Senate.

Addressed to the leadership of the House and Senate Rules and Administration Committees, the letter states, “We understand and wholeheartedly agree that the safety and security of Members of Congress and their staffs are paramount, and that guidance from the Capitol physician will help inform an eventual return… As we enter a new year, however, trade associations and professional societies are planning legislative conferences that rely heavily on constituent participation. Therefore, Congressional guidance as it relates the future of in-person meetings in Congress is greatly needed to support organizations’ planning and promote Americans’ expression of their First Amendment rights.”

Congressional meetings moved to virtual in March after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the many offices to work from home. In-person constituent meetings are not anticipated until the vaccine is comprehensively rolled out. Many associations are planning virtual legislative conferences, but questions remain as to if in-person meetings will be permitted this summer and fall.