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Contacting Congress - writing a letter or fax

  • A personal letter will get more attention than a form letter or pre-printed postcard.
  • Make sure you include your name and address. Some offices will not open a letter if it is not from his/her state.
  • Fax the letter to your member’s office. Mail takes a long time to arrive because of security concerns with mail sent through the postal service.

Your letter should be simple and direct

  • If possible, limit your letter to one page.
  • State the purpose of your letter in the first paragraph, identifying a specific bill number, if applicable.
  • Focus on one particular issue and request specific action from the legislator.
  • Explain how the issue will affect your local community.
Letters should be addressed as follows:

To a Senator or Representative                                                                                

The Honorable (Full Name)

United States Senate (or House of Representatives)

(Room Number; Building Name)

Washington, DC 20510 (or 20515 for House of Representatives)

Dear Senator or Representative (Last Name):

Other methods
  • 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.

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