Public officials expect to get calls from the public -- most have staff dedicated to the task. They rely on calls and letters to help them make the best decisions.
- Look up their office phone numbers. Click here to find contact info
- Prepare for the call. Write down the issue you are calling about and what you would like the official to do.
- Practice. Click here for a sample script for calling a policymaker
- Have paper and pen handy.
- You will likely have to leave a message, either on voicemail or with an aide.
- Give your name, where you live, your organization, if there is one, and why you are calling.
- If you get the legislator on the phone, ask if this is a good time to talk. If not, when would be a good time to call back.
- Be polite, brief, and respectful.
- Always remember to ask for the action you want.
- Say your piece, then listen. Don’t interrupt or argue. This isn’t a debate.
- If they want more information, let them know that you will get it to them.
- If they have questions you cannot answer, say so. Then get the answer and call them back with it.
- Finish the call by thanking them for their time and their support (if they are supportive).
- Don’t be discouraged if they haven’t returned your call in a few days, just call back again and be polite.
Tips no advocate should forget
How to contact elected officials
Sample phone script for calling a policymaker
Writing to policymakers
Visiting with policymakers
Legislators – who are they?
The importance of legislative staff
Families USA state health advocacy toolkit