Talking with Legislators on the Phone

Important techniques for communicating with your legislators over the phone

  1. Always identify yourself as a constituent.
  2. Ask for the staff person who handles the issue that you are calling about (in this case the person who handles Labor HHS Appropriations).
  3. If the staffer is unavailable, before launching into your issue, ask the person answering the phone if they would prefer to take a message or if they would prefer you to leave a voicemail message for the staffer.
  4. If the staffer is available, state the reason for calling clearly and succinctly. Provide a brief background about the issue. A legislator deals with hundreds of issues and will not be familiar with everything; you are responsible for educating him/her.
  5. Include anecdotal information, if pertinent, to reinforce the issue of concern.
  6. Only bring up one issue during the call. It is often difficult for the person listening to take notes and follow your conversation, if you talk about more than one issue, the listener will become confused.
  7. Request that the Legislator take an action (ask him to support a bill, etc.). "Just to summarize, I am asking the Congressman (or Senator) to support _______." Finally, ask the individual to pass your message along to your Congressman (or Senator), ask for a response to the issue raised in the call and thank the staffer for his/her attention to the issue.