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Communicating with Legislators
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Communicating with Legislators

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Telephoning

Telephone calls to state legislator's offices are often taken by a staff member. Ask to speak to the legislator or to the aide who handles the issue you would like to comment on. If he or she isn't available, you can also leave a message. Take down the name and title of whomever you speak with and ask that the legislator send you a written response.

Writing Letters and Emails

Make It Personal

An individually written letter, rather than a form letter, will make a better impression on your legislator. Legislators will respond to their consituents, so be sure to include your name and full address, including ZIP code.

State Your Position

Your purpose should be stated in the first paragraph. If your letter pertains to a specific piece of legislation, be sure to identify it but its full name and number. For example, say "I am writing/calling to support/oppose HB___/SB___." Explain why you support or oppose this particular issue. Keep in mind that personal examples concerning the impact of this legislation are very powerful.

Don't Assume that Your Legislator Is Already an Expert on the Issue

Be prepared to educate him or her, using local or personal examples in your explanation. If you are asked to supply additional information about the issue, do so as soon as possible.

Ask for a Response

Indicate to your legislator that you would appreciate a reply that includes his or her position on the issue.

Address Your Legislator Properly

Begin your saluation with "Dear Senator [last name]" or "Dear Representative [last name]. Always address envelopes with "The Honorable [full name of legislator]."

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