The average American (hopefully) knows that they have a representative in Congress, but many do not know how to go about expressing their opinion to them on any given day. This article will provide you with the five most important tips for writing your congressman.
You may be asking yourself, “Does contacting my representative even make a difference?
The answer to that question is, “Yes!”
Much of the U.S. House staff’s time is dedicated to recording and responding to the opinions expressed by constituents. Many times this is done through a “tally” system.
First, you will want to make sure you are contacting the right congressman, right? You can easily find out by simply typing in your zip code here: https://www.house.gov/
Be sure to include your name and return address so that the congressman’s staff can confirm you are a constituent and thus, that your opinion really matters to them! If you do not, there is a chance that your letter will not be read or your opinion will not be recorded.
Be specific about what law or bill that you would like them to support or oppose. This will help ensure that your opinion is accurately recorded and taken into consideration. Use this website to find the name of legislation, bill numbers, and vote schedules: www.congress.gov.
You will notice that legislation to be proposed in the U.S. House begins with “HB” (House Bill) while legislation to be proposed in the U.S. Senate begins with “SB” (Senate Bill). You should contact your one U.S. representative or your state’s two U.S. Senators, accordingly.
Be aware of the time delays inherent in “snail mail.” If you wish to express your opinion on a time-sensitive matter, a stamp and an envelope may not be the best medium of communication. Example: There is a vote coming up on the Second Amendment tomorrow and I want my congressman to vote a certain way. You can find each member’s email here: https://www.house.gov/
So what are you waiting for? Let your voice be heard by contacting your congressman today!