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How to Contact Your Legislator

Posted: October 27, 2014

How to Contact Your Legislator

 

To locate your Senator or Representative: go to www.nh.gov/government/state.html, choose “Legislative Branch” and click on “Who’s My Legislator?”

General Principles:

  • Be friendly – legislators are happy to hear from constituents
  • Remember – quantity matters. If a legislator hears from 5, 10, or 50 people, that is a groundswell
  • Introduce yourself – give your name and town
  • State your reason for contact – “I am asking you to support/oppose (issue, bill, etc.)”
  • Use Bill number, sponsor and title if your contact is about legislation
  • Tell your story (briefly) – how this will impact you, your family, people you care about
  • Thank your legislator for the time and attention, for the support, for the vote. Call/write/visit again. When you establish a record of reasonable, positive correspondence you develop clout on future issues.

Phone Contact:

  • You are not imposing by calling – legislators appreciate learning more about the issues they face
  • Leave a message – state the bill number, your position, and a phone number in case there are questions
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, say you will get the answer and call back, and then follow u

Write a Letter:

  • If you use sample letters, add a personal touch if you can
  • Do not use postcards
  • Use personal stationery or letterhead if available
  • Include your name and address on the letter – envelopes may get discarded
  • Typed letters are easier to read, but handwritten letters are more personal (if they are legible)

Personal Contact:

  • Make an appointment
  • Introduce yourself – even if you’ve met before
  • Get down to business quickly
  • Ask what you can do
  • Leave written material

E-Mail:

  • If you are contacting your own legislator, put your name and town in the message
  • Don’t use attachments; not everyone can open them
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