Legislator Advocacy

Make your opinion know

Constituents drive legislative decisions. Other factors figure in, but the opinion of voters is the number one decision driver. They want to get reelected. They want to hear from you.

Advocacy groups

Likely you are passionate about political issues. Then find advocacy groups in your area of interest that monitor the government process. Sign up for their newsletters or alerts to receive timely alerts of impending legislative action. Timing is crucial. A large rapid response at a crucial time is very effective.

From the Indivisible Guide 2.0

“Coordinated calls. Calls are a light lift, but can have an impact. Organize your local group to barrage your MoCs [legislators] with calls at an opportune moment about and on a specific issue.”

Recommended means of communicating with your legislator

  1. Meet face to face is the best. Request a meeting at their office.
  2. Make a phone call. See guidelines below.
  3. Write a personal letter or email. See guidelines below.
  4. Submit a form email. The least effective means of communicating with elected officials. These come from political action groups. They are easy to submit but for that reason, not very effective.

Writing and calling rules of thumb

Whether you are writing or calling, here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Be courteous. Abrasive language achieves nothing.
  • Be specific. Tell your legislator what action you would like him/her to take. Usually you will refer to the subject of the bill as well as its number. State clearly whether you support or oppose the bill, and explain why.
  • Be brief.  Concise language gets the message across better. Give one or two reasons why you are requesting the specific action.  Short letters or calls are remembered better.
  • Explain if it affects you. If possible, tell a story of how the legislation will personally affect you.
  • Request an answer. Ask how they will vote on the bill. They may not know yet.
  • Give name and address. Your name and address are important so that the representative will know you’re from his/her district.
  • Send a thank you. A thank you note afterwards is much appreciated. It will likely be remembered the next time you make a request.

Phone calls

Many people are nervous about calling their legislators for the first time. Don’t be because they expect constituent calls and want to hear from you. Besides, you won’t be talking to the legislator directly. A member of the office staff will take the call and record your request.

Writing letters and personal emails

To make your letter as effective as possible, use the proper address and salutation. For letters to your state senator and representative, the following sample form is suggested:

The Honorable John Q. Smith
State House Room ***
City, State ZipDear Representative Smith:Or

The Honorable Jane J. Doe
State House Room ***
City, State Zip

Dear Senator Doe:

Here’s a sample letter:

Date

Dear XXXXXXXXXXX:

As your voting constituent, I urge you to support bill XX XXX to ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration on this matter.

Best Regards,

Your Name
Your Address

Finding your legislators

You can find contact information for your representatives and senators at Who Are My Representatives.org.