Give Them A Call

Give Them A Call

While a rant about politics on social media can fulfill our need for instant gratification, doing so is unlikely to get the attention of the people who really have the power to make a difference. Most of our congressional representatives have a variety of ways we can contact them – from forms on their websites to email addresses, from telephones in both Washington, D.C. and their home offices. It is tempting to use email and electronic contact forms, because this is something easy to do at any spare moment. Picking up the phone can feel a bit more daunting.

Lawmakers and their staff generally agree that phone calls are the most effective way for concerned constituents to reach out to our congressional representatives. While it is unlikely that you will speak directly to your representative when you call their office, the message that you leave with a member of their staff will be passed on in one form or another.

For those who are anxious about speaking to a congressional staff member over the phone, especially in this sort of context, it’s helpful to know what to expect. Your phone call can be very short if you choose, and you can simply provide your name, city, zip code, and let the staffer know whether you are for or against a particular issue. Rest assured that the staffer will not badger you about your opinion, nor insist that you argue your cause with them. They are collecting data for your representative, not trying to engage you in an all-out debate.

If you are more comfortable with speaking on the phone, try to provide a personal story about why the cause you’re calling about matters to you. These types of personal anecdotes can be especially memorable in a sea of relatively similar calls, and staffers may pass these stories on to your representatives.

Regardless of whether you prefer a shorter or a longer conversation, you may want to prepare a script in advance of your calls to help you stay on track. There are many scripts available online if you are unable to write your own, and websites like 5Calls.org will even provide you will scripts tailored to address specific issues.

If you are preparing to make calls to your lawmakers, follow a few simple steps:

1. Find out who to call. Websites like whoismyrepresentative.com will ask you for your zip code and then give you the names and contact information for your senators and representative.

2.  Prepare a script. Include your name, city, and zip code. Try to address one issue per call. If applicable, include a brief personal story about how the policy in question affects you.

3.    Keep it short. Every call is important, but congressional staffers are taking a lot of them right now and they need to be able to get through as many as possible.

4.     Be friendly to the people who answer the phones. It’s a tough job on the best of days, and doubly so when emotions are running high.


While a rant about politics on social media can fulfill our need for instant gratification, doing so is unlikely to get the attention of the people who really have the power to make a difference. Most of our congressional representatives have a variety of ways we can contact them � from forms on their websites to email addresses, from telephones in both Washington, D.C. and their home offices.

It is tempting to use email and electronic contact forms, because this is something easy to do at any spare moment. Picking up the phone can feel a bit more daunting.