Contact Your Elected Officials

  1. Input your address at CommonCause.org to receive an interactive list of your elected officials at each level of government, complete with contact information.
    Or, input your address at the Scott County Auditor’s office Precinct Finder and click on the type of election.
  2. Using that candidate’s contact information, CALL (do not write or fax) the individual’s office.  For senators/representatives, call both the regional and capitol offices.  According to insiders, be brief and direct about your stance.   Consider using this sample script.  Call only your congresspeople and do not ask for followups.  This results in more processed calls and efficient data gathering.
  3. Check townhallproject.com for public meetings and listening sessions to interact with the official respectfully.
  4. Engage the officeholder on social media

https://rethinkmedia.org/blog/how-effectively-engage-your-elected-officials

 

Iowa State Senator, Bob Dvorsky, spoke to the Iowa Library Association about contacting lawmakers. This is his advice:

  1. Legislators care more about the opinions of their constituents. Focus on contacting your elected officials. However, it does not hurt to contact the members that sit on a committee about an issue.
  2. Communicating with legislators depends on the legislator. Face to face conversations are great if you can manage it! Some legislators prefer phone calls while others prefer emails. Try to do both. Engage your legislator on social media.
  3. Personal stories help legislators make decisions. Always try to include something personal when you contact an elected official.
  4. Build relationships with your elected official. This is easier to do with your local and state lawmakers. Invite them to your company or organization’s functions and events. Show them what you do and what you need instead of always asking the lawmaker for something.
  5. Automated emails. Organizations send out emails for you to forward to your legislators about an issue. Before you forward that email, include a message about how you are a constituent and that the issue is important to you because ____. This will give the email more of an impact than just forwarding it. It is still best to write your own personal email to your legislator.

Building Relationships: An Advocary Webinar. Iowa Library Association, August 13, 2018