The Johnson Amendment is a federal law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates. This provision protects the integrity of houses of worship and non-profit organizations and prevents them from being used as tools of political candidates and those seeking political power. Even so, President Trump has vowed to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment,” and some Members of Congress have introduced legislation to do just that.

There is a tremendous need to educate Members of Congress and their staff members about what the Johnson Amendment is and why it is important to keep it. Therefore, communities across the United States are visiting the offices of their elected Representatives and Senators to educate the office staff and to send the message to elected members of Congress that their constituents care about this issue and do not want to see any repeal or weakening of the current law.


What can you do to educate your Members of Congress during August Recess?

You and others in your community can set up Hometown Congressional Visits with your Members of Congress and/or their staff to maintain the Johnson Amendment. Every Senator and Representative has an office – often multiple offices – in their home state. They work from these local offices during "congressional recesses," which provides an important and convenient time for you to make your voice heard!


Here is how it works:

1. Get a team together. Find 5-7 people who care about the Johnson Amendment.

2. Learn about who represents your district or state in Congress. Use www.house.gov and www.senate.gov to find out which Members of Congress represent you and your surrounding community.

3. Make a plan. Meet with the people who are participating in the visit to assign roles, and think about what everyone will say.

4. Call your Member's local office and request a visit. If your member is unavailable, ask to meet with the staff who work on this issue.

5. Download the Hometown Congressional Visits Toolkit. You can also bring additional resources with you, including:

6. Tell us about each of your visits! Email Bill Mefford at mefford@au.org to let us know how it went and if there was any conversation, or – better yet – take a selfie outside the office and send it to Bill. We would love to share it with others!

7. Share your photos on social media using #CommunityNotCandidates.