Contacting Elected Officials
This page includes information that the Human Rights Office uses to guide its communication and contacts with elected officials. Remember, your efforts in contacting your elected officials do make a difference in bringing a respect for human dignity to practical politics.
- For each phone call to the local office, there are 10 other people with the same opinion
- Each call to their Washington, D.C. office = 50 other people
- Each email = 100 other people
- Each letter = 500 other people
- Each personal visit = 1,000 other people!
How to Write Letters to Elected Officials
- Keep the letter to one page in length (two at most).
- Type or write legibly.
- Have a respectful and courteous tone; do not insult or threaten.
- Stick to one human rights issue; include the bill number if possible.
- State your position up front, including what you are asking the Member to do.
- Support your position with facts; avoid "I believe" or "I feel" statements.
- Explain how the legislation will affect you and others; avoid overly emotional arguments.
- Suggest a better approach to the legislation you disagree with.
- Thank the Member for any past support.
- Request a written response and be sure to include your complete address.
Writing to Your U.S. Congressperson (also applies to State Legislators And Governors)
To send letters via U.S. Mail:
The Honorable _______________
Washington, D.C. 20510
"Dear Senator _______________,"
The Honorable _______________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
"Dear Representative _______________,"
The President of the United States:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
"Dear Mr. President,"
To send letters via FAX:
Emailing Your U.S. Congressperson (also applies to State Legislators and Governors)
E-mail is especially valuable for short messages to your Representatives or Senators. A more extensive dialogue is better suited to other formats, such as letter writing or face-to-face meetings. E-mail does not replace other forms of communications, but supplements them.
The majority of Members have done away with their public e-mail addresses and now use a "write your Member" format on their web pages. To reach your Representative or Senators by e-mail, contact Members' web pages at www.house.gov or www.senate.gov or access active links to your Members' web pages at "Contact Your Congressperson" on the www.nchla.org website.
Emailing the White House: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling Your Congressperson (also applies to State Legislators and Governors)
Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121, and ask to be connected to a Member's office.
If you don't know who your Members are, the Capitol switchboard operator can assist you.
Call a Member's local office. For information on Members' phone numbers, contact Members' web pages at: www.house.gov for Representatives and www.senate.gov for Senators.
Calling the White House: (202) 456-1111 (Comments Line)
Meeting Your Congressperson (also applies to State Legislators and Governors)
Writing Letters To The Editor
Letters-to-the-editor are another great way to communicate your views on pressing public issues. The general public reads these letters and Members of Congress keep track of what is being said in the newspapers in their districts and states. No newspaper or community newsletter should be overlooked.