The best way to keep the pressure on your representative, according to those who have worked as state-office staffers or DC staff assistants. Emails and letters are sorted by topic and summarized for more experienced staff to review. Few ever actually get read by the representative. Phone calls require staff members to stop what they are doing and pick up the phone. Lots of phone calls regarding the same topic require more attention. According to Emily Ellsworth, “Significant volumes of calls in a state office also require coordination by the DC and district office staff and get noticed right away.” This is our goal. To get noticed.
Below you will find a script to use for your call, as well as a chart, sorted by state, that shows all of the local offices for your Senator and their numbers. The DC number is also listed if you wish to try that, though it is recommended to call your local office because it is your community. That said: feel free to call both! You will also find a form to use for informing us of your call.
Do you live near one of your representative’s local offices? Willing to travel there? Feel free to call and make an appointment. During your visit you may use the script below. It may seem simple. But the fact that you have taken the time to deliver your message in person is effective. For more impact, go as a group if you can. Review the information on our website to use for talking points in case you are given the opportunity to talk to someone who will engage in a deeper conversation with you.
Before you call, let’s review some simple etiquette. It is important to remember that the people who answer the phones (mostly interns and staff assistants) are the bearers of your message and people who deserve to be treated with respect. Use a pleasant tone of voice, and please-and-thank-you where appropriate. Be sure to thank them for taking your call. What happens if you get a machine? Leave a message following the script. It will be included in their records.
One last note – when you call your local office you may be asked for your full address, rather than just the zip code you offer, to confirm that you are a constituent of the representative you are calling.
“Good morning/afternoon. My name is _________ from (Zip Code). I am calling to encourage Senator _________ to support the creation of a bipartisan Special Select Committee to investigate Russian interference in the election and alleged connections between Russia and President Trump, his campaign staff and advisors. I respectfully request that my call be recorded.” (Assistant responds.) “Thank you for your time.”
Feeling nervous about making a call?
That’s not unusual. Blogger Cordelia suggests that you plan a time of day for your call and prepare what you are going to say – hence the handy script we have provided. Practicing it out loud may help it feel more natural to say when you call. If either of those possibilities makes you nervous, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed or overheard. Take a deep breath, and call. Speak slowly and clearly. The more calls you make for any purpose, the easier it will become.
“Good morning/afternoon. My name is _________ from (Zip Code). I am calling to encourage Senator _________ to support the creation of a bipartisan Special Select Committee to investigate Russian interference in the election and alleged connections between Russia and President Trump, his campaign staff and advisors. I have also signed a petition by Real Democracy Today in support of such an investigation. I respectfully request that my call be recorded.” (Assistant responds.) “Thank you for your time.”
Did you sign the petition?
Make a deeper impact by calling and informing your representative that not only do you encourage them to support a bipartisan Special Select Committee, but you have also signed a petition regarding this very issue.
Let us know you called!
DID YOU VISIT OUR LOCAL OFFICE?
Email us and let us know how it went!