Whether you are concerned about laws on a local, state or federal level, knowing how to effectively talk to your representatives can make a big difference. The best place to start is with accurate preparation such as knowing who to contact and how to do it, as well as how to get your point across in a manner that encourages active listening and productive dialogue.
Most lawmakers will have several methods with which you can make contact with them, such as town halls, phone lines, email addresses and even office hours. To find the various methods you can use, you can type “contact my DC representative” into a search engine or browse the government website for the municipality or state. You will then want to choose the method which best suits your needs and capabilities. For instance, if you have mobility issues, then getting in line for a microphone at a crowded town hall might be more difficult than calling or emailing your representative.
Relaying Your Case
To effectively communicate your concerns, you will want to first write down what you want to say in a clear and concise message. This ensures that you are getting your point across without taking up too much time and can be ideal if you need to leave a message or write an email. Make sure that you identify yourself in your communication and give your representative a way to get in touch with you for follow up on the issue at hand. It is also important to be courteous when talking to your government officials because this helps them be more open and receptive to your point of view instead of on the defensive.
Communicating with your government representatives helps ensure that those making your laws understand the concerns that their constituents have on a variety of issues. This can help guide their votes, shape future legislation and keep in touch with the people who elected them to the positions.