Tips for Contacting a Legislator
Whether you are calling, emailing or writing to a legislator, here are some tips to make your message most effective.
- Timing is very important. Be sure to reach out to the legislator early on, before he/she may have made up his/her mind, and definitely before he/she votes.
- If he/she has taken a position of support in the past, be sure to mention it.
- Be as brief and to the point as possible.
- Know the bill number, and if possible, the stage in the legislative process you are requesting action on (e.g. a vote in committee; a vote on the floor).
- For emails, place the bill number in the subject line; if a letter, include the bill number in the first sentence.
- Use the appropriate salutation, “Dear Representative XXXX” or “Dear Senator XXX”
- State how the bill will benefit/hurt you, your business, your industry and/or your community.
• Don’t forget to make the “ask” (e.g. vote “yes” on HB ###).
- Provide your name, mailing address, phone number and email address.
- Timing is very important. Be sure to call the legislator’s office early on, before he/she may have made up his/her mind, and definitely before he/she votes.
- Before you call, write down a concise “why” statement as to how the bill will benefit/hurt you, your business, your industry and/or your community.
- You may be calling a committee chair or a committee member that may not be your representative. Before calling, determine if you are a constituent of the member (the staffer will most likely ask). If you are not, be prepared to state why you are calling that office (e.g. “I’m calling because the representative sits on the ________ Committee.”).
- State your name, the bill number, your position on the bill and your “why” statement.
- Answer any questions the staffer may have and thank them for taking your call.