Getting in Contact

Elected officials are a lot like the rest of us; they pay more attention to people they know than to strangers. So get to know them or members of their staffs, in person if possible and through regular emails, letters or phone calls to their offices if not. Here are some tips:

  • Using their websites, find out if your member of Congress and your senators have offices in or near your community; most do. Drop by the local office and try to meet at least one person on the staff. Get the names of and contact info for staffers who work on issues of particular interest and then reach out to them online, by mail or on the phone. Make sure they know you’re a constituent, not some out-of-towner or out-of-stater.

  • Most members of Congress have town hall meetings or make other public appearances when they’re not in Washington. Particularly in a large state, it can be tough to arrange a direct contact with a senator, but with a little effort you can speak directly to your congressman or congresswoman.

  • Contacts with local officials and state legislators should be even easier. You can track down your state legislators’ local offices through their websites and you generally can get contact information for your city, county and town council members through the local government website, an online search engine or a phone directory.

Next: Get engaged.

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