Contact Your Reps
7 simple steps for engaging your elected officials
1. Make sure your messages are specific
Tell them who you are, what you’re advocating for, and why the issue matters to you and your community. Legislators will listen to and consult with constituents who have shown themselves to be respectful and knowledgeable about the issues. Try to time your advocacy to key moments in the discussion and decision-making processes. Important dates, meetings, publications and heightened media exposure could all present possible opportunities for action.
2. Set up a meeting
3. Call and write Congress
Once you’ve met the member or staff person, a phone call can also be effective. Writing personalized letters is another important way of communicating—but they must be sent by e-mail, as security concerns have slowed congressional mail delivery.
4. Connect on social
Tag your elected officials, take advantage of hashtags, share widely, and comment regularly.
5. Attend a Town Hall meeting
These open community meetings often take place during a recess period and provide constituents with the opportunity to meet publicly with their legislators to share their views. Town hall meetings are publicized in local newspapers, newsletter mailings, and members’ websites.
6. Follow up
Continue to reach out through email, phone calls, letters, and most importantly in person meetings with your Member of Congress. The more you engage your network in constructive conversations about your advocacy, the more likely you are to get a response from lawmakers.
7. Say thanks
This is an easy way to remind them that you are paying attention to their actions on the Hill, and it also has the potential to encourage similar policy decisions in the future.