Talk To Your Government
|Over the years the public has given Washington an increasing number of mandates to address a wide range of issues and problems. Many activities in the U.S. have a federal component, as well as a role for individual state governments. The federal government is involved in areas ranging from labor laws to health care, environmental regulation and protection to food safety oversight, welfare programs to education and civil rights. You get the picture.
The reality is that if we want to be a part of the conversation we have to keep talking. There are many ways you can contact your federal and state representatives and voice your thoughts and ideas - don't forget, they are YOUR REPRESENTATIVES.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when communicating to them:
> Define clearly the area you are concerned with and what you want them
to accomplish. Is it changing a law? Voting a certain way on a bill before them?
Increasing or decreasing funding for that issue? Look up Active Legislation
for what's pending in the current Congressional session.
> Find and contact your own Representative and Senators. You can source
contact information and pending legislation for your particular State Legislature as well.
> You can find the specific committees handling particular areas and address
your communication to them as well as your Senator or Congressperson.
(Click for House Committees and Senate Committees.)
> If you are motivated, you can request a meeting with committee staff members
or the committee members themselves. Staff members will be able to advise you
about the legal and political considerations of your issue, so you can properly frame
> Get others in your state or district write or call your Member of Congress, the more
people the better. Personalized contacts in the form of emails, calls, or letters are
preferable to a group or form letter. You want to both inform them of the issue and
your point of view, as well as show that this has support from a significant number of
others in that Member's state or district.
We hope these links to your government make it easier for you to be an effective participant
in your communities, locally and nationally.