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How To Contact Your Federal Representatives

By Jen Curt, CTIPP's Director of Government Affairs

Who are my Representatives?

You have one representative in the U.S. House of Representatives for your Congressional district and two in the U.S. Senate for your state. Both are referred to as Members of Congress.

How do I write an email to my Representatives?

Each Member of Congress has an official website. While they may organize their website differently, each will have a page where you can contact them by electronic mail.

  • Visit your representative’s official website. This is usually [LAST NAME] or [LAST NAME]

  • Navigate to the drop-down menu and locate their “Contact Me” or “Share Your Opinion” page.

  • Fill out each field in the form. They may ask you to select an issue such as “education” or “health care” to categorize your mail.

Each Member of Congress has one or more Legislative Correspondents tasked with reading and sending responses to constituents’ mail. If you leave your address, phone number, and/or email address, you can expect them to respond within days or months. If you never receive a response within three months, do not hesitate to follow up by sending another electronic message.

How do I call my Representatives?

When you the United States Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121, a switchboard operator will connect you directly with the requested Senate office. They will ask you for your zip code and may ask for your full address to verify that you are a constituent.

Each Member of Congress’ phone number can also be found on their official website.

When you connect with your Congressmember’s office, you will likely speak to an Intern or Staff Assistant. They want to verify you are a constituent by asking for your zip code and address. The Intern and Staff Assistant’s role is to take down contact information and comments so the Legislative Correspondent can provide you with an official response. They may be able to answer questions.

You may not be able to speak to anyone and will instead be directed to voicemail. If you leave a voicemail, clearly speak your name and spell it out if you think it may be difficult for them. Share your zip code and contact information, such as your email address and phone number, so they can respond.

Please note:

  • If you do not make it clear that you are a constituent residing in the Member of Congress’ district or state, they are very unlikely to respond.

  • The staff you speak with work long hours and often have to speak to people on the phones who are abusive and hostile. Practice trauma-informed behavior and language even when sharing messages of disapproval.

  • If you would like to meet with the legislative staff who handles the issue you are reaching out about, ask for a meeting.

How do I send physical mail to my Representative?

Visit your representative’s official website. This is usually [LAST NAME] or [LAST NAME] Their office locations are typically at the bottom of the main webpage. If you are writing about a policy advocacy issue, address your letter to the Washington, D.C., office. If you are writing about helping you contact a federal agency or with other casework issues, address your letter to their office that is located closest to where you live in your state.

Please note that mail sent to the Washington, D.C. office must be reviewed by security to ensure no dangerous substances are enclosed. Therefore, the office can take longer than normal to receive the letter.

How do I request that my Representative attend my event or meet with me?

Each Member of Congress has one or more Schedulers who manage the Representative’s time and all scheduling requests. Schedulers decide which events and meetings the Representative attend based on availability, priority level, and/or impact.

Maintaining a positive, patient, and friendly relationship with the Scheduler is critically important. After you make the request, you will hear from the Scheduler, usually via email. If the Representative cannot fulfill the invite, the Scheduler may have a staff member attend in their place.

  • Visit your representative’s official website. This is usually [LAST NAME] or [LAST NAME]

  • Navigate to the drop-down menu and locate their “Meeting Requests” or “Event Request” page, typically under the “Services” or “Contact” tabs.

  • Fill out each field in the form.

Many Schedulers cannot commit to meetings and events far in advance. You may decide to reach out 2-3 months in advance. The Member of Congress’ schedule can change spontaneously due to the voting schedule. Do your best to remain flexible and understanding.

What do I say in my phone call, email, letter, or invitation?

The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice has developed an advocacy workshop series that provides information on concepts, processes, and skills that model the trauma-informed model and facilitates reflection around specific steps and actions to help you develop into the strongest advocate possible.

Each module provides a video, audio transcript, PowerPoint slides, resources, and reflective exercises to strengthen your trauma-informed advocacy. Learn how to tell your story, develop an agenda, build relationships with policymakers, and more.


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