tips for calling your elected official

Calling your elected official can be a very effective way to communicate your position on an issue, especially when time is of the essence.

Keep in mind that your telephone call may be taken by a staff member, not the elected official. Public officials often rely extensively on their staff, who usually are very knowledgeable about issues and influential in setting priorities. Remember to always be polite and courteous to elected officials and their staff. Below is a sample script for making your call:

  • Identify yourself as a constituent by giving your name and where you live.
  • Identify why you are calling and ask to speak to the legislator or an aide that handles that issue. For example, “I am calling because I am opposed to Senate Bill 123, which would increase the sales tax. Can I speak to the legislator or to an aide that handles that issue?”
  • Ask what your legislator’s position is on the issue.
  • Tell the aide you would like to leave a brief message and reiterate your position on the legislation in your message such as: “Please tell Senator (Name) that I oppose Senate Bill 123, to increase the sales tax.”
  • Leave your name and home address so that your legislator can respond to you.
  • Consider sending a follow-up note to the legislator or staff member with whom you spoke, emphasizing your position and your appreciation for his/her attention to the matter.

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