Calling a Policymaker
Public officials expect to get calls from the public -- many have
staff dedicated to the task. They rely on calls and letters to help them
make the best decisions.
- Look up their office or
home phone numbers
. It is OK to call
elected officials at their published home numbers - they are listed
for a reason. (But don't call late at night.) Legislators' published
home numbers and numbers at the Capitol are listed in the blue pages
of your phone book.
- Prepare for the call. Write down the issue you are calling about
and what you would like the official to do. See Sample
Script for phoning a Policymaker.
- Identify yourself - give your name, where you live and why you are
- Ask if this is a good time to talk - if not, when would be a good
time to call back.
- Be polite, courteous and respectful of their time.
- Always remember to ask for the action you want.
- Say your piece, then listen. Don't interrupt or argue.
- If they want more information, let them know that you will get it
- If they have questions you cannot answer, say so. Then get the
answer and call them back with it.
- Finish the call by thanking them for their time and their support
(if they are supportive).
- You may speak to an aide or an answering machine - leave a message
with the issue you are calling about, your name, number and the best
times to reach you.
- Don't be discouraged if they haven't returned your call in a few
days, just call back.
To contact policymakers:
And the blue pages of the phone book
Navigating the Legislative Process
If you only have 5 minutes to
make a difference
How to work with a lobbyist
Collaborations and Coalitions
Legislators - Who are They?
Research - Finding and Using Data
The Importance of Legislative Staff
Tips No Advocate should forget
Visiting with a Policymaker
Writing to Policymakers
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