What I wish I knew before my first #APFFamilyDay

By Michelle Jaskulski and Aimee Manzoni D'Arpino


Q: How do I know who to request meetings with?  

A: Addiction Policy Forum will set up ALL of your meetings for you - no need to do any legwork before you arrive!


ADVICE: Bring a photo of your loved one - it is very powerful to be able to show your legislators your “why”


Q: How should I dress?  

A: Tuesday’s events are all business casual, however, you should bring professional attire for Wednesday - you will be meeting with your legislators and all of the buildings you will be visiting are working office buildings.  Therefore, you are expected to dress appropriately and behave in a respectful manner. If you are attending the dinner on Wednesday evening, you may want to pack a change of clothes (again, professional attire) - after your busy day you may want the opportunity to change & freshen up.


Q: How about footwear?  

A: While those heels may look fabulous with your outfit - comfort should dictate this choice!!  You will be doing A LOT of standing and walking - please choose your footwear accordingly!


ADVICE: Bring an umbrella You never know what the weather may bring!  Throw an umbrella in your bag, pack a couple of choices of outerwear...you will be spending a fair amount of time outside and walking between buildings or waiting in lines to get through security.


ADVICE: Expect things to be very busy – there will be lines through security into the buildings, the cafeteria and other restaurants will be busy, there are often large tour/school groups.  Leave yourself plenty of time to get your scheduled meetings.


ADVICE: There is security screening EVERYWHERE - plan accordingly (think outfit & bag!) Carry minimum with you & double check purse for prohibited items*. Shoes, jewelry or clothing with big buckles extra might set alarms.


ADVICE: Office waiting rooms are VERY small and often appointments are back to back.  Representatives may get called out for meetings, calls or to go to the floor to vote. Do not be disappointed if your meeting ends up being with an Aide - they are extremely knowledgeable, helpful and intent on hearing what you have to say.  


ADVICE: If you have meetings/trainings before you check in to/after you check out of your hotel - simply have the hotel hold your bags.  Navigating the Hill is tricky enough without any extra baggage.


ADVICE: While Ubers & Taxis are abundant - it is often MUCH quicker to walk between appointments.


ADVICE: Wednesday will be a BUSY day, a LONG day and an amazingly POWERFUL day!  



  • Pointed objects to include but not limited to razors, box cutters, knives, knitting needles, letter openers. Pens and pencils are permitted.
  • Sealed envelopes and packages
  • Firearms to include replica guns and ammunition.
  • Weapons (to include but not limited to): Black jack, sling shot, sand club, sandbag, knuckles, electric stun guns, knives (longer than 3”), martial arts weapons or devices.
  • Explosives and explosive devices to include Molotov Cocktails and components of a destructive device, and fireworks.

Additionally, the following items are strictly prohibited in the Capitol Building (including the Visitor Center):

  • Liquid, including water
  • Food or beverages of any kind, including fruit and unopened packaged food
  • Aerosol containers
  • Non-aerosol spray (prescriptions for medical needs are permitted)
  • Any bag larger than 18" wide x 14" high x 8.5" deep