A bill you oppose is up for a vote less than 24 hours and you
want to tell your legislator to "vote no." Simply call your
legislator's office and tell a staff member exactly that. Up
until voting time, congressional offices pay close attention to
what their constituents are saying. Here are some tips for a
quick call to your congressperson:
Call your senator or representative: Unfortunately, a congressperson
from another district won't pay much attention--if any--to your call. But
your representatives will. If you don't know who your representatives are,
consult the government pages of your phone book.
Get the phone number: Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202)
224-3121 and ask to be connected to your congressperson's of fine. For
state legislators, consult the state and government pages of your local
Make the call: You won't speak to your legislator--unless you're
a personal friend--but you will speak to a staff member who will rally
the call, note your position and sometimes relay messages to the congressperson
on a daily basis. If the issue is "hot" they'll report throughout the day.
Make your case: Don't be intimidated! The staffer won't ask you
detailed questions about the issue. You'll do the talking. Simply say you
want your congressperson to know your views on the issue--that you oppose
or support it-- and add which way you'd like your congressperson to vote.
Ask for a response: Ask for a reply from your congressperson on
the issue. Although you may only receive a form letter on that specific
issue, it still guarantees that your message was recorded.
Be sure to thank the staffer before saying goodbye.
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