Choose your method of communication Whether you give a call, send an email, craft a letter, or attend a City Hall or Town Hall meeting, just making contact with your representative is a simple a vital way to have your voice heard. Contact information and committee meeting schedules can usually be found on your state’s official legislative website.
Plan what you want to say It should be specific and concise in addressing your concerns. Personal stories of how pieces of legislation affect you yield the strongest value. Whichever method you choose, it is important to get across the following points: 1. Give a short introduction. Who are you? Where do you live? 2. State the issue you want addressed. If it’s a specific bill, it helps to add the identification number (H.R.__ OR S. __) 3. What is your personal history with the piece of legislation? 4. What are your fears if a certain piece of legislation is or is not passed? 5. What is your recommended course of action? 6. Give a brief thank you and farewell. Our suggestion: Giving a copy of WISE Up to your elected officials fosters a strong relationship of support between you, as a community member, and your government representatives.
Find out who your representatives are, and send it off! Whether it be your senator, congressman or woman, mayor, or city council member, you have various resources to hear your concerns. Below, you’ll find links that will tell you who these representatives are, and how to get in contact with them.
Who to Contact Now you know what you’re going to say. But who do you send it to? Here’s a list we’ve compiled of all your options so you know the best person to hear your voice!
Senate On policy proposed by the Federal government and other nationwide issues, you’ll want to contact your senator. When suggesting a specific course of action, you can propose that your senator vote no on a certain bill, withhold universal consent to delay the progression of a piece of legislation, or filibuster an action to stop its advancement.
Senators You can find your Senators here
House of Representatives Congressmen and congresswomen serve two year terms as representatives of specific congressional districts based on population. Their jobs include introducing bills, resolutions, and amendments, as well as serving on committees focused on specific legislative areas. You can find the representative of your district or the various committees, and choose from there where your message can go. Find your House representatives here: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Governor To participate in the conversation about legislation specific to your state on issues such as the environment, the criminal justice system, statewide education, infrastructure, and economic development, contact your governor.
Find your Governor here.
City Council On issues that relate to your city of residence, you can contact your City Council member. The City Council members correspond to council districts. On each City Council website they will also provide the contact methods for different committees, such as the Committees on Immigration, Public Housing, Courts and Legal Services, Education, and Transportation, etc. You can easily find the vast collection of these committees online on your City Council website, with the corresponding public meeting times, schedules, and locations that discuss each area of concern.
Local Officials Your local officials are your Mayor, County Executive, and town officials, which are based on your county and town of residence. For questions about issues such as a school board or town budget, you can write to your Mayor or County Executive, and attend open school board meetings to participate in your local legislation.
Find your local officials here.
See? You have tons of options. Hopefully this clarified the process for you. When in doubt, you can always shoot a representative’s office an email and they’ll direct you to the right place. Our biggest piece of advice, however, is just participate! Active citizens are what makes this country great, and your public servants are here to listen to you. To reiterate, here’s a final checklist to help you become an activist in your community, state, or country. Good luck!
Political Action Checklist
● Identify the issue you wish to resolve
● Find your representative who is involved in this issue
● Figure out the best mode of communication
● Write your speech/email
● Send away!
● Congrats, you’re an advocate! It wasn’t that hard, was it?