Methods to Influence Congress

You can contact Congress in many ways. Do it your way any time

The array of “weapons” to choose from:

  • Responding to NRLN Action Alerts
  • Composing your own message
  • Letter-to-the-Editor
  • Calling the local or Washington, D.C. office
  • Sending an e-mail with or without attachments to his office
  • Fax a message or mail a hard copy
  • Local office visits
  • Town Hall /Phone Town Hall Meetings
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Respond to Action Alerts.

These are sent out by the NRLN on issues that are of immediate priority. You will receive a request to respond to them occasionally. On the NRLN web site at www.nrln.org and clicking on the Take Action Now! icon. This will take you to the latest Action Alert. You can edit the message to personalize it. You can contact the President, both of your U.S. Senators, and your U.S. Representative in less than 5 minutes.

 

Composing your own message.

You can also use this link to write your own message on any topic you wish. If you want to write on NRLN issues you can find plenty of background material under the Legislation tab on the NRLN home page.

 

Note: To check up if your Representative or Senators are co-sponsors of bills we support or oppose, just plug in your zip code in the window next to the photo of the U.S. Capitol Building on the right side of the home page, click the GO!, and you’ll see a USA map. Click on your state and follow the links to your Senators or  Representative. There you’ll find contact information about him/her, what committees he/she is on, and if he/she co-sponsors bills we support, or oppose. Also on these sites are links to his/her official website, Twitter and Facebook accounts, if available.

 

Letter-to-the-Editor.

You can send a Letter-to-the-Editor about NRLN Legislative Agenda issues by going to http://www.congressweb.com/nrln/media. A map of the USA will appear, click on your home state to access a list of newspapers in your state. Or, enter your zip code, click on GO and a list of newspapers in your area will appear. Check the box next to the newspaper you want to send your letter to and then click on “Send a Message.”

Calling the local or Washington, D.C. office.

From the contact information obtained above you can call an office and talk to a staffer and talk about an issue and or obtain an e-mail address for an appropriate staffer. It is good to get the e-mail address of a staffer so you can send him/her an e-mail with attachments if needed.

Sending an e-mail with or without attachments to his/her office.

Once you get the e-mail you can send him a copy of the Action Alert sample letter or our position papers (executive summaries or whole documents) obtained from our Legislative Agenda tab on our home page at www.nrln.org. Or, you can send him/her the link to the document on the NRLN website.

Fax a message or mail a hard copy.

U.S. Postal Service mail has to go through a toxic screening so it takes about two weeks to reach the congressional offices, but it allows bulky documents to get to him/her. If a fax is sent, it cannot be screened out for district where it originated. Don’t send more than five pages unless requested. When sending an executive summary say, if you wish, here is the link to the full document.

Local office visits.

These are normally handled by the NRLN Grassroots Congressional District Leader. Names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of these individuals are posted on the NRLN website under the Grassroots tab at: http://www.nrln.org/directory.html . Contact your Congressional District Leader if you want to meet with your Representative or Senators. These meetings normally cover a specific issue or a small number of them. These meetings can be requested by a phone call or message sent via his/her official website.

Town Hall Meetings/Phone Town Hall.

Contact the local office to find out when and where they will be conducted. Be prepared to ask questions on a few issues by looking at our Legislative Agenda and executive summaries on www.nrln.org . You can get on the phone meeting list by calling the local office.

Facebook.

Almost all members of Congress now have Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can post an item on Facebook and even attach a link to a document such as an executive summary of an NRLN white paper from the Legislative Agenda tab by copying in the link to it. Get his Facebook and Twitter accounts as outlined in the prior Note or on this site http://govsm.com/w/House which provides links to all Representatives’ Facebook and Twitter accounts. For Senators, go to http://govsm.com/w/Senate

Twitter

Similar to Facebook but messages are restricted to very short length. Good for short “reminders”.

You’ll need Facebook or Twitter accounts to use these channels but they are free. Ask your grandkids for help if needed.