Two Simple Tricks to Make Calling Your Representatives Easier
Protecting our health is about more than what we eat and drink. We need to be advocates for policies that protect our air, water and land, and that means getting on the phone with our representatives in Congress.
The new administration poses serious threats to our health, and we owe it to ourselves and to our children to move past our fears and pick up the phone for important issues like protecting the EPA and defending clean drinking water.
I don’t know about you guys, but until about a month ago, I had maybe called my Representatives in Congress once or twice. Total. Now, I’m making one to two calls per day. Talking on the phone is not my favorite thing, and these two simple tricks really helped lower the barrier to entry for me.
1. Save their numbers in your phone.
Look up your Congresspeople, and save their D.C. and local numbers in your phone. Those phone calls really do make a difference, and having the numbers you need at your fingertips makes it so much easier to place the call. You can look them up online, or send a text with your zip code to the number (520) 200-2223. They’ll reply with a list—how handy is that?
If you’d like to look them up online, it’s easy. Here’s how:
- Here is where you can find your Senator’s D.C. numbers.
- Once you have their names, google them to find their local office numbers. You may need to click around each Senator’s web pages to find contact information. It’s good to have both—if one line is busy or has a full mailbox, you can call the other office.
- Look up your Representative by zip code here. Click on your Rep’s name to visit his or her website, and find the contact information there.
While you’re at it, you can look up a few more numbers. I live in Atlanta, so I also have Mayor Reed’s and Governor Deal’s numbers saved. To find those, I just googled their names, went to their web pages and looked for a contact page.
2. Write yourself a script to read.
Do you get nervous on the phone like I do? Write yourself a 1-2 sentence script! Your script should be short enough to work as a voicemail message. You also want to keep it short because Congress’s phone lines are swamped right now—get to the point, then free up the line, so someone else can get through.
Here’s a general sample script that I use:
“Hello. I am a registered voter living in zip code ______, and I would like my (Senator/Representative) to ______.”
No need to memorize your script—have it in front of you when you call, so you can just read it right back when you get a person or voicemail box.
Are you feeling empowered and ready to call? Here are a few extra tips to help you out!
- If you’re not sure what issues to call about, Daily Action is a great place to start. Just sign up on their site, and they will text you each morning with an issue. They don’t provide phone numbers, so having those numbers saved helps.
- Try not to yell. I am totally guilty of losing my cool occasionally, especially when calling my Senators, but it doesn’t help. The aides answering the phones are not deciding policy, they’re just passing on your message.
- If you have phone anxiety, try to go to your happy place. Having a script really helps with this. Don’t think about the person on the other end of the phone. Just read the lines while you’re thinking about a beautiful day at the beach, say thank you, and get back to your day.
- Feeling discouraged? It can feel like these calls don’t matter, but our elected officials really are hearing us, and they are scared. There are always a lot of calls when a new administration comes in, and keeping those phone lines lit up long-term is what’s going to really send a message that we are paying attention. Several congressional aides told Real Clear Politics that high call volumes at this point aren’t that unusual, but “if the volume continued into the spring and summer months, they said, the trend would be more troubling.”
- It gets easier. It really does. Every call you make is practice for the next one. You can do this!
Related at Care2
- 9 Resources to Make Calling Your Representatives Stress Free
- Protesting is Effective, Here are 7 Examples
- Here’s the Best Way to Contact Your Elected Officials
Images via Thinkstock.