Contacting Congress - Sending an Email
- 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. The more targeted you can be, the better.
- All legislators have a website with comments/ communication form. While this is an 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
- It is easy to delete emails, so you want to communicate the top points in your subject line.
- State that you are a constituent and reiterate the issue in the subject line (i.e., “Your constituent writing about _______ legislation”).
Keep Your Message Brief and to the Point
- Do not forget to include your name and address.
- 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 the most 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 – While an old school method, faxed letters can be effective as they are likely to be given to the legislative staff immediately.
- Letter Writing – Use letters primarily to accompany information packets, articles, etc. because postal mail arrives slowly to Capitol Hill offices.