Select here to find your State and Federal officials and connect on issues that matter to you, using the helpful tips below.
CALL Your Legislator/Official
- Be prepared
- Have the pertinent information written down: essential points of your position, bill number, title and description
- Try to place call at crucial time for issue, e.g., before a key vote
- Use correct form of address, e.g., Senator Smith, not Joe
- Present your position briefly
- Identify yourself and where you live
- One issue per call
- Be factual and honest
- Use your own words
- Mention how issue will affect their district or community
- Ask for their views
- Try to ascertain their position and how they will vote
- Keep tone friendly
- End the conversation politely
- Thank the legislator or official
- Offer to send information on your issue
- If you cannot reach your legislator or official, do not refuse to speak with a staff person. You may gain useful information and a helpful source for future reference.
WRITE Your Legislator/Official
- Use plain or personal stationery.
- Use proper form of address.
- Write legibly—typing is preferred.
- Keep it short and to the point—Let them know what you expect.
- Address one issue per letter.
- Outline essential information: Bill number, title and/or description.
- Use your own words: Avoid form letters. Describe personal experiences and local impact.
- Be sure to include your name, address and phone number.
Don't give up! A good cause is worth extra effort and wait. Follow up is critical.
Don't contact your legislator or government official only to complain or push an issue. Let them know you support them when they have done a good job. Be polite: say "thank you."
Become a Part of the Process
Don't stop with one issue. Keep an ongoing dialogue with your government. Keep working for a better environment!
Adapted from CTLWVEF - October 2003