When contacting any senator or congressperson

@spalladino (17924)
United States
March 9, 2009 11:19am CST
Have you ever wondered if you're wasting your time when you call, write or email your state legislator? Have you ever considered contacting the representatives of other states but thought you would be ignored because you live elsewhere? I received some pretty good advice about this recently. You can call, write or email any senator or congressperson representing any state and have your issue count with five words..."I live in your district". Whether you do or not, include those words in your letter or email...in the subject line if possible. Don't use the handy form on their websites which require you to provide your address...get the email address and use your personal email. As a return address for a letter, put, "Citizen" with the person you're contacting's city, state and zip code. Chances are the envelope won't be examined for a postmark. Inform the staffer on the other end of the phone...or the voicemail... of the same. The reason for this is because staffers keep track of things and one of the things they keep track of are the opinions and concerns of the people living in the district their boss represents. Those are the folks who can re-elect him/her or decide to elect someone else so those are the calls, letters and emails that count. If you're going to invest your time voicing your opinions, make sure it's not wasted...make sure it counts.
3 responses
@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
9 Mar 09
Some good advice there. I wish it were run like my state's legislature, I think we are the only state in the union still doing this but we have a citizen legislature, we do thing s a little differntly here. there are no offices in the state house, if the members are lucky enough to be on a committee, they have a drawer in a committe room but they mostly work from home and recieve only several hundred bucks a year sallery, they all have regular jobs. So when I call my state rep, I am calling them at home or in the case of small towns like mine, just knocking on their door, lol. In addition to this, anyone can speak in a legislative session, get legislation introduced, ask questions on the floor about legislation, argue in favor of or against it, etc Imagine Pelosi's face with a constituant knocking on her door? Or standing up in the middle of a congressional session to tell her how beyond rediculous a bill is?
@rodney850 (2145)
• United States
9 Mar 09
Xfahctor, I like your state's concept of government! I can't imagine many people like Pelosi even running for office if they had to run their office from home!
@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
9 Mar 09
lol, keep in mind, we're also the only state in the union with a clause in it's constitution granting specificly the "right of revolution". It's a battle keeping us this way believe me, the further north massachusts creeps, the harder it gets.
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
10 Mar 09
I have heard from many people (one who worked in a congressman's office) that emails are chosen randomly and the rest are deleted. On some days, a staffer just deletes everything if they're busy. Phone calls are the best because if you can tie up the lines so that nobody can get anything done, it makes an impression--cut off the source of making money (the phone) and they will listen. Always tell them you won't re-elect them if they don't listen to you and you don't see results. Not getting re-elected scares the pants off 'em because it cuts off their source of graft and ripping off the taxpayer.
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
10 Mar 09
Good points dragon. Another bad thing about email is that you can unintentionally end up on their mailing list. Every time I've emailed Mel Martinez I end up getting his newsletter and then I have to unsubscribe because it's full of bs. By that time I need to email him again and...you guessed it...I'm back on that newsletter list!
• United States
10 Mar 09
Hi spalladino: I have contaced my Senators & House Representatives many times on different issues. I don't think I am more politically active in my community than some, but I do take notice to politics and feel more of us should be contacting them. Any way we contact them is better than not at all. I can't say I've called them on the phone, but have visited their offices although I primarily write via email. I've even sent emails to the White House. I always received responses to my messages from the Senate, House, and President's Office. Not to say that I was completely happy with the responses I got, but I received responses none the less. I can remember one time, and you'll probably remember this too, with the Elias Gonzalez media frenzy. I didn't think tax payer money should have been used to offer them money to stay here in the United States. So, I wrote to my Senator, Congressmen, and President. That was quite a while ago, but I do recall getting a response that was more of a form letter, than an answer. Needless to say, I wasn't surprised at this answer, which in true politician form, didn't give a hint on their stand on the issue, or if my opinion would matter. In the end, it worked out the way it was supposed to. I hate to see what the public's response would have been otherwise. I have never thought to contact them the way you are saying, as I didn't really see any need. Nor have I had any instances where my messages were deleted without response. I suppose it depends on who you are writing to. Take care...