Quick Tips for Contacting Elected Officials

Concerned about what the government is doing with health care, hospital funding, or Medicaid? Let your elected officials know!

One of the most important things voters can do is share opinions with senators, representatives, and other officials so they can better represent you.

Not sure who represents you? That’s easy to find out. Two U.S. senators and one representative, also commonly called a congressman or congresswoman, represent you in Washington, D.C.

Go to www.Congress.gov and on the right side click on the chamber you want. On the next page, in the upper right corner, plug in your ZIP code and you’ll have a photo and a name. If you don’t see all the contact information you want, click on the link to the official’s website for more information.

For your state representative and senator—you have one of each—head to the General Assembly website’s “find your legislator” page. Enter your address or search by county to find the names of the elected officials who represent you in the Pennsylvania House and Senate. Click on these names to find everything from snail mail addresses to social media accounts.

Now that you know how to contact your representatives, what’s the best way to do that?

Although elected officials generally have staff monitoring their social media accounts, it’s hard to get an effective dialogue or personal attention by relying solely on social media. Sending written letters is more helpful but, depending on the volume of mail the official receives, you might get only a form letter in return.

The most direct way to contact your representative is with a phone call. And, if you target your letters and calls to the official’s district office—not the Harrisburg or D.C. one—you’ll be competing with fewer callers and stand a better chance of connecting.

If you take the phone call route, be polite, concise, and reasonable. The staffer you’re talking to didn’t create the problem and can’t fix it. But he or she is your conduit to the person who can.

Remember, your elected officials work for you. They won’t know how you want them to vote if you don’t share your opinions. Whether it’s a letter, a tweet, or a phone call, every communication from a voter can have an impact on public policy.