Tips for Calling a Congressional Office
- Do not expect to be able to personally speak to your senator/representative.
- Ask to speak with the legislative assistant responsible for the issue.
- Be prepared. Before calling, have your message written in front of you and review it carefully so you know exactly what you want to say.
- Identify yourself as a constituent (include title/position).
- State the purpose of your call. Keep the message simple and concise.
- Be courteous. Congressional staff work long hours — 10 to 12 hour days are not uncommon — and have many demands and pressures on their time.
- Thank the staffer for taking your call and let him/her know you will follow up.
- Be Direct. State the purpose of writing (e.g., name/number of bill).
- Be Informative. Identify yourself as a constituent (title, university).
- Be Constructive. Offer recommendations (don't blame, accuse, threaten).
- Be Political. Explain how the issue effects the district/state/country.
- Be Discriminating. Stick to one issue per letter (avoid "laundry list").
- Be Inquiring. Ask how the member stands on the issue.
- Be Available. Let him/her know that you are available to follow up.
- Be Appreciative. Thank your member for considering your concerns/request.