9 Resources to Make Calling Your Representatives Stress-Free

I have to confess something that I’m not very proud of: Until this week, I had never called any of my representatives.

I know, I know, I’m such a “slacktivist” hypocrite. After repeatedly telling others to make the call — in part to ease my own guilt over not following this advice — I finally did it myself.

Typically, even the idea of ordering a pizza by phone makes my heart start racing; calling my government is on a whole other level. However, I understood how important it is to call my representatives, particularly now.

“It brings a legislative issue right to the top of the mind of a member,” Emily Ellsworth, who answered phones for Republican representatives for five years, told the New York Times. “It makes it impossible to ignore for the whole staff. You don’t get a whole lot else done.”

Ellsworth recommends sharing how particular issues affect you personally to convey the “individual impact of your individual story.” But if you’re not comfortable doing that — or maybe not just yet — it’s still important to call, even if you read from a script like I did. Endless ringing phones are much harder for a busy office to ignore than an equal number of emails.

If the idea of calling your representatives ties your stomach in knots, here are some resources to make the process easier — and way less intimidating. You’ll be prepared, armed with information and significantly more relaxed.

I hope these tips don’t get used against me next I refuse to call for takeout, but if they relieve anyone else’s phone-related stress, they’re well worth it.

Find your representatives

  • Whoismyrepresentative.com is a great place to start if you’re not sure who to contact. You can search by state or by zip code and get the names of your senators and congresspeople. The site will give you the phone number, fax — if that’s your thing — website and address of your representatives. Some also have a built-in contact form, but remember, we’re being brave here and making calls.
  • Call My Congress is a similar option. Here, you can search for your reps by street address or zip code and find their phone numbers, Twitter handles and a link to their voting record — but no address. Either one of these options will work, it just depends on what additional information you’re looking for.

Get the facts

  • FiveThirtyEight created Trump Score to help users quickly understand how their representatives votes compare to Trump’s position. For every senator and congressperson, the site provides a “Predicted Score,” which shows how often they are expected to support Trump’s position. Next to this is the “Trump Score,” which shows how often they actually voted in line with Trump. This tool is sleek, sharp and efficient, but it doesn’t provide a ton of detail. It’s definitely a good place to start, but make sure to dig deeper.
  • GovTrack is a great place to go for more detailed information. Sign up to receive alerts on how your representatives vote and updates on bills they sponsor. You can also explore their voting records, follow bills and committees or search by issue topic areas.
  • Countable lets you learn more about the arguments for and against specific bills and inform your representatives of your position with an automated email. You can also follow different political organizations and learn more about their stances on the issues you care about.

Make the call

  • With 5Calls you can choose the issue that’s important to you and instantly get a script and relevant phone numbers. Then you can log the call result, so the site knows how many calls have been made. If you’re really getting into the spirit of democracy, you can choose another issue and call again!
  • Call Them In provides a list of call tips and specific, detailed scripts for opposing cabinet nominations.
  • The Sixty-Five gives you a weekly call to action on a timely topic with a script, numbers of top congressional leaders and a link to your representatives. They have many other issues listed on the site with accompanying scripts.
  • Indivisible is a free, downloadable guide to “resisting the Trump agenda” written by former congressional staffers. In addition to tons of other useful tips, this guide will give you excellent information on how to make your calls as effective as possible.

There are many actions occurring in the United States right now that are way scarier than making a few phone calls, especially now that you’re well-equipped with all the necessary information. You’ve got this.

Photo Credit: freestocks.org/Unsplash

43 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing

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Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thank you for sharing

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Philippa P
Philippa Powers2 years ago

Thanks.

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Karren S.
Karren S.2 years ago

I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well. Thanks for sharing this information. And I’ll love to read your next post too.

Kim - www.e-counseling.com

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Bill Eagle
Bill E2 years ago

Good advice

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william Miller
william Miller2 years ago

Thanks

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Lori Hone
Lori Hone2 years ago

good infor

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE2 years ago

One can only tell them your own opinion, which doesnt mean that it is right. Everyone has an opinion.

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william Miller
william Miller2 years ago

Thanks

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brenda t
brenda t2 years ago

My two senators are Jeff Flake and John McCain. They both have flip-flopping down to a science.

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