Written Communication

A third option is to send an e-mail message. Most congressional websites have a link for sending electronic messages using a web form. Make sure to fully explain your concern in non-technical terms, and include a way that they can contact you for more information.

Mail from constituents is almost always answered, even if they disagree with you or cannot do what you are asking. However, sometimes the staff who read the e-mail send the wrong response, i.e., the message thanks you for supporting legislation that in fact you oppose. If that happens, reply to the message or send a new message letting them know that they misunderstood your position. You certainly don’t want your opposition to be recorded as support!

Related Items

Meeting with Your Legislators: A Checklist

Before meeting with Members of Congress or their staff, get some basic facts about them and their district to help you prepare. (Hint: Start by reading the Member’s biography on his/her website.)

Meeting in Person

Meeting Senators and Representatives either in Washington or back home in the district lets you state your views and start establishing a personal relationship.

Placing a Phone Call

If you don’t have the time to set up a meeting, you can simply call the Member’s office to state your views.

Is This Considered Lobbying?

As a citizen, you have the right to make your views known to your elected representatives: Just be sure to do so on your own time!

Tips for Talking about Issues

Six points to keep in mind in any advocacy situation.

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