Contact Your Legislator
Finding your legislator
You can your legislators and their contact information at the following websites:
- Your Pennsylvania Legislators (based on your address)
- Your U.S. Representative (based on your zip code)
- U.S. Senators for Pennsylvania
Calling your legislator
Remember that telephone calls are usually taken by a staff member, not the legislator. Ask to speak with the aide who handles the issue about which you wish to comment.
After identifying yourself, tell the aide you would like to leave a brief message, such as: “Please tell Senator/Representative (Name) that I support/oppose pending legislation.”
You will also want to state reasons for your support or opposition to the bill. Ask for your Senator’s or Representative’s position on the legislation.
You may also request a written response to your telephone call.
Writing your legislator
The letter is the most popular choice of communication with a congressional office. If you decide to write a letter, this list of helpful suggestions will improve the effectiveness of the letter:
- Your purpose for writing should be stated in the first paragraph of the letter. If your letter pertains to a specific piece of legislation, identify it accordingly, e.g., House bill: H. R. _, Senate bill: S._.
- Be courteous, to the point, and include key information, using examples to support your position.
- Address only one issue in each letter; and, if possible, keep the letter to one page.
Meeting your legislator
- Plan your Visit. Determine which legislators hold key committee positions or hold influential positions in order to make the biggest impact with your issue.
- Make an Appointment. Contact the legislator’s office in advance and arrange a scheduled meeting about the issue.
- Be Prepared. Know the issue inside and out. Create a fact sheet or a packet of information so that the legislator has details of your position and can do further research on the issue.
- Be Political. Legislators want to represent the best interests of their constituency. Know the legislators constituency and how the legislation will affect this population. Always ask for a commitment from the legislator on a particular bill.
- Be Responsive. You may need to answer questions, so know the topic thoroughly. Follow-up the visit with a thank you letter that reiterates your stated position.
Tips from www.ActForChange.org .