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Contacting Congress - Telephone Calls

Phone calls are effective in delivering information quickly and directly, especially on days of key votes.  Visit the member’s website to find their telephone numbers. 

  • State your position and ask what position the elected official is taking.
  • Be prepared to explain how the issue will affect your practice and the legislator’s constituents.  Need help?  Check the AAP website for talking points.

Calling the District Office.

  • While the District staff may be less influential in terms of legislation compared to the D.C. staff, they are more accessible to constituents.
  • Establishing a good relationship with the District Director is a very effective way to influence policy because the District office staff is responsible for constituent services.

Calling the Washington, D.C. Office.

  • When you call the Washington, D.C. office, ask to speak with the health legislative aide.
  • Remind the aide that you are a constituent and how many people you see with chronic conditions and disabilities.
  • Try to develop a dialogue that will allow you to call back in the future. Encourage your congressional staff contact to call you as a resource for information.
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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