We know it can be overwhelming to email your legislators, whether state or federal, for the first time. That's why we've prepared these practical tips to help you make a difference when a family issue comes up in your state legislature or in Congress.
Following these rules of thumb will help you communicate with your elected officials in support of your family and family values:
- Be concise – Try to communicate your message as clearly and with as few words as you can.
- Be polite – This is not the appropriate place to tell your representative that you dislike their policy positions. It is okay to point out inaccuracies in testimony or comments they have made in the press, but remember -- keep your email as short as possible. Also please be constructive without belittling the viewpoints of those who do not share your views.
- Be specific – Clearly identify the legislation you are contacting your legislator about and what you’d like them to do as your representative. You do not have to include a bill number as long as you clearly identify the bill. For instance, if the issue is a marriage amendment vote, it is appropriate to ask them to vote for a marriage amendment.
- Be timely – If you receive an email alert asking you to contact your legislator, please pay attention to any timeline mentioned. Many times, the public is not informed of an upcoming vote until a day or two before the actual vote. Time is almost always of the essence when contacting legislators.
- Be sure to identify yourself – Include your name and address in your email so your legislators can confirm you are, indeed, one of their constituents.
- Be flexible – Some legislators require that you fill out a web form to communicate with them, rather than accepting emails. If your legislators require this, please use the form they have provided if at all possible.