Calling legislators is very effective, particularly in the days just before they are scheduled to take action or vote on the issue.
To prepare for the conversation, jot down a few notes containing the key points you want to make, and refer to the notes during your call. Unless you know the elected official, you will almost always speak with a staff person.
Phone calls can make a difference, especially when legislative activities are moving fast!
Remember these important tips when making a call:
- Call the correct office. When in session, call the member’s Capitol office. During recess periods, try the home district office.
- Prepare in advance and speak from notes. Jotting down your key points and questions beforehand will help make sure you get the information you need. Remember the appropriate bill number (when possible), its general purpose and rationale for your support or opposition.
- Avoid arguments. Be friendly and respectful and you’ll get a lot more attention to your issue.
- Follow up with a letter. Send a letter to recap your conversation, views and say thanks. Mention the staff person’s name and thank the staffer for their help.
- Provide your full name and contact information. Staff members and office personnel will often check your contact information with their constituent database.