Contacting Congress - Sending an e-mail
- If possible, try to secure an email address of a particular staff member (the health Legislative Aide or the District Office Director) and email him/her directly. This is highly effective.
- All legislators have a web page with a link to contact the legislator. While this is a very easy way to communicate, it is less effective unless you are mobilizing a large number of people. Remember, legislators receive thousands of emails a week, so one individual email can get lost.
STate key information in the subject line
- As it is easy to erase email, you want to communicate key information in the subject line.
- State that you are a constituent and reiterate the issue in the subject line (e.g., “Your constituent writing about _______ legislation”).
Keep your message brief and to the point
- Do not forget your name and address in the text.
- Embed your message in the text. Attachments should be for background information, fact sheets, or endorsements.
Finding your legislator's website and email
- You can find your legislator's email address by visiting either the House or Senate websites (www.house.gov or www.senate.gov) and searching for or selecting your legislator's name.
- In person – in person meetings are highly effective.
- Telephone calls – Phone calls are very effective because they provide an opportunity to talk directly to the staff, which reinforces your relationship with the office.
- Email – Email is particularly effective if you communicate directly through a staff’s individual email address, or if you are mobilizing a large number of people through the legislator’s website.
- Fax – Faxed letters are very effective as they are likely to be given to the legislative staff immediately. Old school but still considered effective.
- Letter writing – Use letters primarily to accompany information packets, articles, etc., because postal mail arrives very slowly to Capitol Hill offices.