Summer is in full swing, which means it’s the perfect time to invite your elected officials to attend your community association events and meet homeowners. We’ve developed a toolkit to help you prepare for and better support a legislator visit.

They’ve RSVP’d. Now what?

 Congratulations! Getting a legislator to RSVP is often the most difficult part of the process. Now, you can spend time preparing for a visit. Here’s what you can do to have a productive event:

  • Tell CAI: If you haven’t done so already, reach out to CAI’s Government and Public Affairs team to let them know you have an elected official visiting. We can send additional state specific resources or talking points for you to review.
  • Share the news with homeowners: Publicize the event in advance to ensure a high turnout. Ask attendees to prepare by writing down positive community association experiences and what the legislator can do to support community associations like yours.
  • Do your research: Learn as much as possible about your elected official. Check out his or her official website to identify their interests and issues they are currently working on.
  • Stay alert: Monitor your inbox, phone, and voicemails in case of any logistical changes. Sometimes, an elected official is pulled into another event and may need to arrive earlier or later than expected, or they may only join for a few minutes. Try to accommodate them as much as possible. Remember, they want to meet with you, your board, and homeowners to learn about the community association housing model.
  • Ask questions: Not sure what to do? Reach out to CAI’s Government and Public Affairs team at or 888-224-4321. We’re here to support you throughout this process.

They’re not able to attend. Now what?

That’s fine! A legislator’s schedule could be booked weeks, if not months, in advance. If they were unable to make your July 4th BBQ or other upcoming summer event, here’s what you can do to keep the conversation going:

  • Reschedule: Invite the elected official to attend an upcoming ice cream social or town hall meeting at a time that accommodates his or her schedule.
  • Substitute: Ask if someone on staff is available to attend in the legislator’s place. If you have other events, such as a Thanksgiving dinner or holiday party in December, consider inviting them to those.

Check out our Constituents in Your Communities toolkit for additional support and stay tuned for more advocacy tips throughout the summer. If you have any questions or would like assistance, please contact Crystal Espie, manager of Government Affairs at


  • Crystal Espie

    Espie serves as Manager of Government Affairs and recently joined Community Associations Institute after four years at Meals on Wheels America serving as the Senior Manager of Advocacy and Engagement, and nearly two years as a Legislative Fellow with AARP’s State Advocacy and Strategy Integration team. Espie is the lead staff for CAI’s grassroots advocacy initiatives and social media presence. She also works closely with CAI’s legislative action committees and manages the annual Advocacy Summit on Capitol Hill.

    Espie holds a Master’s in Public Administration with concentrations in State and Local Management and Applied Politics, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and an undergraduate certificate in Women, Policy & Political Leadership from American University.

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