Tips on Calling:
- Save phone numbers in your cell phone. Save the right numbers once, and they’re ready anytime. To reach the House and Senate quickly, call the US Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121.
- Call first, don’t email. You have a higher chance of talking with the right person to hear your concerns, and calling can jam the phone lines, which requires staff members’ time and will often prompt the office to respond to the issue. (Check out this New York Times article on the merits of calling versus email.) If you call and get voicemail, then follow up with an email.
- Call your own representatives. Elected officials give priority to their own districts, and most will only track the views of their own constituents, and sometimes just in a simple number of “yes” and “no” phone calls. They will ask for your address or zip code to confirm your residency, and typically will only send written responses to people who live in their district.
- Take notes on the call, and follow up: Take detailed notes so you can call back later as an issue evolves. Compare notes with friends calling on the same issue, and see if anything conflicts. Local Republican members of Congress often do not even hold regular in-person town halls to listen and respond to the concerns of their constituents!
- Call on all issues of importance. It’s okay to call about every issue that concerns you, and the more you call, the more your Representatives will know their voters’ concerns.
For information on ways to be the most effective at lobbying members of Congress, check out the Indivisible Guide.
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