ADVOCACY SUMMIT & HILL DAY

 

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS CLOSED

FOLLOW UP RESOURCES

  • Write a thank-you letter  ( email is generally best) to the legislator summarizing your conversation and any commitments that were made. See a sample letter here.

  • Record the substance of the meeting, including any specific issues addressed, in the feedback form.

  • Don’t forget to thank the staff! It is important to maintain a relationship with not only the member of Congress but also his or her staff. Staffers make it possible to bend the member’s ear year-round on issues affecting people with melanoma

What is Hill Day?

The MRF’s Advocacy Summit and Hill Day is the largest melanoma advocacy event of the year. This two-day event in Washington, DC unites melanoma advocates on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress to urge them to make melanoma a national priority. Patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and community partners travel from across the country to share their stories and take their message to the Hill.

Experience with talking to members of Congress is not required for this event. The MRF will provide you with the tools, resources and training you need to make your voice heard! Anyone who is passionate about telling their story and making a difference for the millions of Americans impacted by melanoma can attend this annual event.

your voice matters

The federal government is the largest source of research funding for melanoma research and each year, your members of Congress determine how much funding will be allocated to cancer research. In 2018 you made your voices heard and Congress listened awarding melanoma $10 million in dedicated Department of Defense (DOD) funding for melanoma. In 2019, advocates went back to the Hill and rallied for continued funding and were able to successfully urge the House to pass $10 million in DOD-funding for 2020.

The MRF’s Advocacy Summit and Hill Day is your opportunity to bring your story to Washington, DC and raise awareness about melanoma, speak on behalf of those who could not and provide hope for those fighting this disease!

 

What to Expect

Hill Day is an incredible bonding experience for those who choose to attend either by themselves or with their families, friends or colleagues. The more voices we can bring to the Capitol, the more powerful our message will be.

Sunday, March 8

After checking-in to your room, head to the registration desk to pick up your Advocacy Summit and Hill Day informational packet. Then meet with other melanoma advocates from across the country, MRF Staff and Board Members at our annual Welcome Reception. 

Monday, March 9
You will hear from experts on the latest breakthroughs in melanoma research, the importance of the patient voice in drug development, empowering patient stories and more. Training will be provided to ensure you understand how congressional meetings work and to prepare you on how to talk to members of Congress.

Activities during the day will include time for you to meet the people you will be attending Capitol Hill meetings with, so you can strategize about who will say what. It will also help you fine-tune your story into a powerful advocacy tool and teach you how to ask Congress what we need them to do: increase federal funding for melanoma research. The most crucial part of the meetings is telling your personal story about how melanoma has impacted you.


All congressional meeting schedules will be distributed at the end of the day.

Tuesday, March 10
You and melanoma advocates from across the country will head to the Hill to rally for melanoma research through meetings with your members of Congress. You will not be alone. We will arrange group meetings for you to sit down with your elected officials and/or their staff, and we will provide you with all the resources you need to be successful. Expect to attend meetings on Capitol Hill until at least 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10

We will set up appointments with your members of Congress for you ahead of time and distribute the schedules on Monday. Please do not contact members of Congress to set up meetings yourself. If you set up an appointment for yourself, you could prevent other constituents from getting an appointment, or create complications with meetings that we are scheduling for you.

 

Speakers

MRF Congressional Champion Award Recipient

Congresswoman Carolyn B Maloney (NY-12)

Tereska James

Founder & President

Brown Skin Too Foundation

David McGinness, LCSW, OSW-C

Oncology Clinical Therapist

Inova Life with Cancer

Representative Kelly Cassidy (IL)

Kristina Baum

Director of Communications at Office of Science and Technology Policy at Executive Office of the Presidents, The White House

Adam Taliaferro, Esq.

Strategic Alliance Lead,

Mid-Atlantic & Southeast

Bristol-Myers Squibb

 

"I was fortunate to find the MRF early after my diagnosis. I decided to   join the MRF for Hill Day exactly one year post diagnosis and this   exhilarating experience rewarded me with the strength I felt I lost."

 

– Laura Wells, survivor and MRF advocate

Schedule of Events

Please note that this schedule of events provides a general timeline of activities. A formal agenda including specifics speakers, breakout sessions and meeting room locations will be added as they are confirmed.

8th

SUNDAY

9th

MONDAY

8:00am - 9:00am
Breakfast 

9:00am - 9:15am
Welcome & Introductions

9:15am - 9:45am
Opening Address

9:45am - 4:00pm

Advocacy Summit

10th

TUESDAY

9am-11:00am
Hill Day Breakfast & Briefing

11:15am - 11:30am
Group Picture on the West steps of the Capitol

11:30am - 5:00pm
Meetings on the Hill

5:30pm-6:30pm
Wrap-up Reception

Hawk N' Dove, DC

3:00pm - 5:00pm
Hotel Check-in

5:00pm - 7:00pm
Registration Open

Welcome Reception


See the full draft agenda here

Hotel 

 

 

 

 

Room Rate: $255 per night + tax

All rooms are subject to a 5.75% DC sales tax. All room Monday, February 10, 2020 (or earlier if the block sells out) A limited number of rooms each night are available at the MRF rate. 

You may also call the Holiday Inn, Washington-Capitol directly by calling 1 877-572-6951 and referencing group name and booking code MN9. Credit card information is needed at time of reservation

Complimentary Room Lottery

The MRF will host a room lottery on January 21, 2020. This lottery will provide 20 complimentary rooms to our volunteer advocates for the nights of Sunday, March 8 and Monday, March 9, 2020.  Recipients are selected at random by an automated system. All recipients will be notified via email on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. 

NOTE: We recommend that you reserve your stay at the Holiday Inn, Washington Capitol as soon as possible as we have a limited block of rooms. In the chance you receive a complimentary room, the MRF will ensure that your reservation is moved to the MRF's master bill for payment.

 

Reservation Policies

All reservations must be guaranteed by a major credit card, but the card will NOT be charged in advance of arrival.

 

Reservations may be canceled without penalty up to 48 hours prior to the scheduled arrival date.
Rooms canceled within 48 hours of scheduled arrival date will be charged one night’s lodging.

For those guests with a reservation who fail to check in on their arrival date, the hotel will charge your credit card for one night’s stay plus tax.

If a form of payment is not secured upon check-in, the hotel will lock your room, requiring you to visit the front desk to confirm payment arrangements.

If you are traveling with a group and will have youth attendee staying in a room by themselves, please make sure that the room’s billing arrangements are confirmed to avoid confusion onsite.

 
 

Travel

Welcome to Washington, DC

Washington, DC has many things to offer attendees of the MRF's Advocacy Summit and Hill Day.  From shopping and dining, to sightseeing, it is a one stop experience that will leave you wanting to return for years to come.  Whether you are a fine diner or a frugal one, DC has plenty of options for you to choose from.  Please be sure to take some time during your visit to explore the area during your town time in town. 

Airline Discounts from United

The MRF has partnered with United to provide Advocacy Summit and Hill Day attendees a discount of 2% to 10% off published fares for travel to the Washington, D.C. area. The valid travel dates for this discount are 3/2/2020 to 3/15/2020. 

 

To make a reservation:

  • Visit www.united.com/meetingtravel and enter ZHYU195474 in the Offer Code box to see discount pricing.

  • MileagePlus members earn Premier Qualifying Dollars and miles for their travel

You may also call United Meeting Reservation Desk at (800) 426 - 1122

  • Monday - Friday 8 am - 10 pm Eastern Time

  • Saturday - Sunday 8 am - 6 pm Eastern Time

Please note:  Not valid on Basic Economy fares, with other discount certificates, coupons, or promotional offers.

Washington, DC-Area Airports

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) 

3.8 miles to Holiday Inn, Washington-Capitol

Dulles International Airport (IAD)

29.4 miles to Holiday Inn, Washington-Capitol

Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) 

34.1 Miles to Holiday Inn, Washington-Capitol

Ground Transportation Options: DCA

Metro:  

Yellow Line from DCA to L'Enfant Plaza Metro

0.1 miles walking distance to hotel

18-minute total travel time* 

More info...

 

Cab/Uber/Lyft:  

3.8 miles total  

6 minutes total travel time* 

Cab Pricing: About $20* 

 

UberX Pricing: About $15* 

Lyft Pricing: About $15* 

*Travel times and amounts are subject to change

Ground Transportation Options: IAD

Metro:  

Silver Line (accessible by Silver Line Express bus) from Wiehle-Reston East Metro to L'Enfant Plaza Metro

0.1 miles walking distance to hotel

46-minute total travel time 

More info...

 

Cab/Uber/Lyft:  

29.4 miles total  

About 46 minutes total travel time* 

Pricing: About $75 - $100* 

SuperShuttle:

29.4 miles total  

About 46 minutes total travel time* 

Pricing: About $31 - $75* (depending on service selected)

More info...

*Travel times and amounts are subject to change

 

Ground Transportation Options: BWI

MTA MARC:  

Take the MARC train directly from BWI Airport Rail Station to Union Station in Washington DC.

56 minutes total travel time* From Union Station, take Metro's Red Line to Metro Center Station and transfer to Green, Orange or Yellow Line to L'Enfant Plaza.

More info...

 

Cab/Uber/Lyft:  

3.8 miles total  

6 minutes total travel time* 

Pricing: About $90* 

 

*Travel times and amounts are subject to change

Hotel Parking

​Secure, underground, self-parking up to 1000 spaces, 6 feet 6 inch height restriction. Oversized parking available on first come first serve basis. Parking fee is $45.00 daily.

Directions to the Holiday Inn, Washington-Capitol

Driving to the event? Click the map link below to find your best route.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that has not been answered below, or want additional information on any of the topics covered, please contact advocacy@melanoma.org or 202-742-5863

 

Registration

I am interested in attending Advocacy Day but don't know yet if I can make it. Should I still register?
Space is limited for this very popular event, so we strongly encourage you to do everything you can to make a decision quickly. We ask that you consider waiting to register until you are sure you can commit to attending. The MRF's Advocacy Program incurs a significant cost for those who register but do not attend the event.

I have multiple addresses. Which one should I use?
Meetings are scheduled based on your voting address, so it's important that you register using the address where you are registered to vote.

How much does the event cost?
The registration fee is $20 per person 18 years or older. Those 17 years old or younger register for FREE. There are no other fees for participating in the event. 

What does the MRF provide for the event?
The MRF provides light hors d'oeuvres and beverages at Sunday's Welcome Reception, breakfast and lunch and snacks on Monday, breakfast and a to-go lunch on Tuesday and all participant materials. We will schedule all congressional meetings for you and will provide you with a schedule of your meetings at the conclusion of the training session. Participants are responsible for making their own airfare, hotel and ground transportation arrangements. For more information on travel and accommodations, please visit our Hotel and Travel pages.

My spouse and/or children are planning on accompanying me to Advocacy Day. Do they need to register?
Yes. Everyone who is planning to attend Advocacy Day must register separately. Accurate attendee information is critical for scheduling meetings as well as catering arrangements and seating plans.

Is someone who is not registered for the event allowed to accompany me?
Due to space constraints, we are unable to accommodate anyone who is not registered.

Will I receive any pre-event materials?
Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email that outlines information on traveling to and from Washington, D.C., as well as information on the event hotel. We will also send you emails prior to the event with tips to make your trip a success. When checking in during our Welcome Reception on Sunday, March 8, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you are unable to make the Welcome Reception, you may pick up your packets on Monday, March 10, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., you will receive a participant packet that includes all the materials you will need for the event.

 

First Time at the Advocacy Summit and Hill Day

When is the registration deadline?
Registration for Advocacy Summit and Hill Day officially closes on Friday, February 28, 2020.

This is my first time at Advocacy Day. What should I expect?
Welcome! We're excited to have you at this empowering event. Once you register, and in the weeks leading up to the event, we will send you emails with useful tips and information to make your experience a success.

Our training and breakout sessions on Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10 will help prepare you for the meetings with your members of Congress and/or their staff, and you also will get the chance to meet other participants from your state.

Don't worry, staff will be standing by at the event ready to help new participants (and returning ones) with any needed assistance.

We are here to help you at any time. Contact our Advocacy team at 
advocacy@melanoma.org or 202-742-5863 for questions or concerns.

Do I need to participate in the whole training session on Monday, March 9?
Yes. In fact, this training is mandatory for anyone who plans to visit members of Congress on Tuesday, March 10. We will cover critical topics and information that you can use in your meetings, and what we will be asking Congress to do. Please note that the messages we deliver to Congress are different every year.

Training will also include time for you to meet others with whom you will be attending Capitol Hill meetings, so you can strategize about who will say what. All meeting schedules will be distributed in your folders that you pick up at check-in on Sunday, March 8.

May I set up my own appointments with members of Congress?
No. We ask that you do not contact any congressional offices directly to schedule appointments. If you set up an appointment for yourself, you could prevent other constituents from getting an appointment, or create complications with meetings that we are scheduling for you.

If you have special connections with individual members of Congress or their staff, please let us know as soon as possible. We can take that into consideration as we are scheduling meetings. Please contact our Advocacy team at 
advocacy@melanoma.org or 202-742-5863 with any concerns or questions.

How will I get to Capitol Hill?
The morning of Tuesday, March 10, advocates will meet at a Committee room on the Hill for breakfast and  briefing. It is important for participants to attend the breakfast as this is when last-minute meeting schedule changes and other valuable information will be provided.

 

After the breakfast and briefing, we will all walk over to the Capitol Buildings West Steps to take a group picture before you departure to your meetings. If you are unable to walk over, please contact the advocacy team at advocacy@melanoma.org so we can make arrangements for getting you to the Hill safely

*Due to security restrictions on Capitol Hill, you should plan to leave your luggage at the hotel. Please visit the Metro website to learn more about public transportation options in Washington D.C., including Metro maps, fare information and schedules.

 

Hill Day Meetings 

Will I meet with my members of Congress by myself?
No. HillDay participants will be coming from all across the country, and we will group you with other people from your city, state or region. Please note that it is very important that you do not set up your own appointments! If you have special contacts with members of Congress or their staff, please let us know when you register, or contact our advocacy team at advocacy@melanoma.org or 202-742-5863.

Who will I meet?
We will make every effort to secure appointments for you to meet with your two US Senators and your US Representative. If a Senator or Representative is not available, the meeting will be scheduled with a member of his or her staff. Please note that staff meetings are just as important as meetings with the actual legislator, as staff play a critical role in the legislative process.

May I set up my own appointments with members of Congress?
No. We ask that you do not contact any congressional offices directly to schedule appointments. If you set up an appointment for yourself, you could prevent other constituents from getting an appointment, or create complications with meetings that we are scheduling for you.

If you have special connections with individual members of Congress or their staff, please let us know as soon as possible. We can take that into consideration as we are scheduling meetings. Please contact our Advocacy team at 
advocacy@melanoma.org or 202-742-5863 with any concerns or questions.

Will I be able to go on congressional visits with my friends or family from other parts of the country?
It is wonderful when our advocates bring their family members and friends with them to Hill Day. Inviting people from different parts of the country helps us achieve our goal of bringing our message to as many members of Congress as possible.

You, your family members and your friends will have opportunities to spend time together. However, it may not be possible to pair you together for the training or actual Capitol Hill meetings, as we need all participants to attend the meetings with their own congressional delegation. 

 

General Information

What is the attire for Hill Day?
Attire for the training sessions on Monday, March 9, is comfortable/casual. We encourage you to bring layers as the temperature in the hotel and outside can vary. Attire for Capitol Hill meetings on Tuesday, March 10, is business or business casual. Please also plan to wear comfortable shoes, as there is a fair amount of walking involved.

Weather in Washington, DC, in March can be variable and windy, please check the weather to plan accordingly. Please note that you will have to go through security screenings to get into the congressional office buildings. Also, please keep in mind that you may need a photo ID for some meetings.

Are meals included?
We will provide breakfast and lunch on Monday, March 9. Dinner on Monday is not included, and we hope participants will use the time to get to know the other advocates in their meeting group and enjoy one of the great local restaurants. Breakfast and a lite to-go lunch will be provided on the morning of Tuesday, March 10.

Do I need to participate in the whole training session on Monday, March 9?
Yes. In fact, this training is mandatory for anyone who plans to visit members of Congress on Tuesday, March 10. We will cover critical topics and information that you can use in your meetings, and what we will be asking Congress to do. Please note that the messages we deliver to Congress are different every year.

Training will also include time for you to meet others with whom you will be attending Capitol Hill meetings, so you can strategize about who will say what. All meeting schedules will be distributed at the end of the day.

 

Travel Stipends

In order to enable more advocates to attend, the Melanoma Research Foundation will offer a limited number of travel stipends. Stipend awardees will receive up to $500 in travel reimbursement.

 

Stipend recipients are required to attend the training on March 9 and the Hill Day on March 10.  The Application deadline to apply for an MRF Advocacy Summit and Hill Day 2020 Travel Stipend is January 20, 2020  All that apply will be notified by January 30, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact Advocacy Officer, Cassie Beisel, at cbeisel@melanoma.org

Click here for the travel stipend application

Special thanks to:

Our Silver Level Partners
Our Bronze Level Partners
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