Calling your elected officials

Contacting your elected officials or their office by way of the telephone is a highly effective, quick, and convenient way of expressing your concerns to your government. Telephone calls are the most effective late in the process for a piece of legislation, right before the vote comes to the floor. This is the time that your representation needs to know that their constituents are watching and paying close attention to their actions.

In all likelihood, you may not get a chance to talk directly to your elected official, but there will be staff available to document or log your position on an issue or to answer any questions you may have - it is precisely to be of help in duties such as this that they are on staff. Normally, elected officials have their staff keep a running tally of pros and cons on certain hotly debated or volatile issues. This is an effective way for them to keep in touch with the concerns of their constituents.

Make sure that you ask that the legislator send you an explanation of his or her position in writing, when speaking with their staff. You will then be able to document their position and remind them of it later, if necessary. When calling the office of an elected official, please note that you should always identify yourself as a registered voter in his or her district, if indeed you are. Keep your call short and direct - There is no need to give a long explanation of why you feel strongly about a particular issue. When calling in regard to a highly controversial issue, be polite yet firmly assert your feelings on the issue.

Congressional contact information