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Tips on Calling Members of Congress
Although not as effective as letters, telephone calls are very important—especially when the respective legislation is being debated or voted upon. A constituent will rarely get through to a member of Congress on the telephone, but talking to or leaving a message for the relevant staff person definitely has an impact. Remember to identify yourself as a Unitarian Universalist.
- If you do not already know your Legislators (Senators and Representative), you can identify them by entering your zip code at Congress.org.
- If possible, determine if your Legislator is on record supporting the issue in question. If they are, call to thank them for their support. (It is always good for them to hear positive feedback.) If they are not, call to urge that they support the bill. (See script below.)
- Call your Legislator’s Washington, DC office. The U.S. House of Representatives Switchboard is (202) 225-3121; the Senate is (202) 224-3121. Be prepared to ask for your Member's office by name. When you've reached the office, you can either (a) name the issue you're interested in and ask to speak to the staff-person who works on the issue; or (b) make your statement to the person who has answered the phone. The former is probably more effective; the latter more time-efficient.
- After speaking, thank the person for their time and ask for their contact information to follow up with them.
You: Hello, my name is ___(your name)__. I’m a constituent from ____(home town)____. Could I please speak to the Legislative Assistant who handles ____?
Congressional Office: Hi, this is XXXX, how can I help you?
You: Hello, this is ___(your name)__ from ___(home town) ____. As a citizen and a Unitarian Universalist, my values call me to support __(your issue)__. Therefore, I’m calling to ask that the Representative (or Senator) support ______. (If there is a specific bill number, reference it.)
Congressional Office: I will let the Congressman/woman know that we talked and make sure that he/she takes a look at the bill.
You: Thank you for your time. I hope that Rep. (or Sen.) XXXX will support this much needed legislation. Can I get your email so that I can follow up with you on this issue? Thanks again.