CALLING YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS

Placing calls to your Member of Congress (MoC), Senators, state legislators or local officials may seem tedious, or feel like they don’t have great impact. But a flood of constituent calls, particularly at opportune moments during consideration of a bill or nominee, frequently can have a dramatic impact. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Find the phone numbers for the official(s) you wish to reach. We keep an updated list of your officials where you can get their addresses, phone numbers, social networks and even download them into your contacts.

  2. Prepare a single question, or request, per call. Keep it simple. Make each call about a single issue that is of current importance – an upcoming vote, a chance to take a stand on a bill or nomination, or some other time-sensitive opportunity. You can discuss a different issue the next time you call!

  3. Find out whom you’re talking to. The phone may be answered by a receptionist or junior staffer. You want to talk to someone higher up – the legislative staffer in the issue area about which you’re calling. Don’t be afraid to ask to speak with a senior staffer – but if the junior staffer won’t accommodate your request, go ahead and offer your question or statement to that person.

  4. If you’re directed to voicemail, leave a message. But follow up! Send an email as well. Try to call again another time.

  5. Keep a record of the conversation. Jot down the name of the person with whom you spoke, or left a message. Take notes on the response you receive, particularly if the staffer surprises you by saying something quotable.

  6. Report back to us! The information pages for our Action Items include forms that allow you to tell us you made a call, and whether anything interesting happened. Please help us monitor our interactions with our public officials!