Tips For Calling Senators
According to people who have actually worked for the Senate, the best way to directly get in touch with someone who works in a Senator’s office is by calling on the phone. Calling is VERY effective and is a proven way to enact change.
If you are concerned by changes in the government and want to
stand your ground on policy issues that are important to you, calling your representatives
is one of the best direct actions you can take.
Here are some quick
guidelines for your calls:
- Only call the state where you
live or have an address. Senators who do not represent you will just direct your
call to Senators who do. Only call your elected officials.
- Identify yourself
as a constituent of the Senator, and explain clearly and concisely why you have
called. Don’t be afraid to use the sample scripts. Your call should be short and
to the point.
- If you are calling with an opinion on policy, it is best to call the D.C. office. Policy is handled in D.C. and Senators' local offices help constituents with federal agencies, and are less prepared to log opinions on bills and votes.
- Leave a message if no one picks up. You will need to
state your full name, phone number, and address, or at least your number and zip
code. Senate staffers will log your opinion only when you leave a message, and
they need your zip code to verify that you're a constituent.
- State a clear
call to action. Staffers pay attention to statements like, “If the Senator does
not vote for/against this proposal, they will not be able to count on my vote
in upcoming elections.” They respond better to calls about how to vote on a specific
policy than to general complaints.
- Always be polite. When you call an
elected official, you will reach someone who works the phones in their office,
which can be anyone from a progressive recent college grad to a hardened cynic
who has worked in the government for years. They are not there to debate you or
have their minds changed on an issue, but they are a direct line of contact to
- Remember, your voice matters and we can get through the
next four years together.
If your Senator's mailbox is full:
- Make sure you are calling D.C. during business hours, or between 9am and 5pm Eastern
- Call their local offices, which can be found on your Senators'
- If all else fails, send them an email or a letter. You can still
use our call scripts in emails and letters!