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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 calling. 
  • 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 to them. 
  • 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:

House Democrats

1-800-842-8267

House Republicans

1-800-842-8270

Senate Democrats

1-800-842-1420

Senate Republicans

1-800-842-1421

Governor

1-800-406-1527

And the blue pages of the phone book

RELATED ARTICLES

Administrative Advocacy

Navigating the Legislative Process

Effective Communications

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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