While contacting your elected officials has become a much more modern and tech-savvy interaction, it is still one of the most important civic duties we can perform outside of voting. Your voice matters even past your vote! Why? Because after an election, officials begin to set priorities and get down to the business of creating policies that impact your daily life.
Contacting your Elected Officials
While it may seem a bit intimidating to contact a public official, or unrealistic to think they will listen to you, your elected officials are there to represent you and your community and make decisions based on your needs. But how will they know what you need unless you speak up? They actually want to hear from you! The best way to keep them informed is to reach out and share your thoughts.
Think of every contact point with your elected official as an opportunity to build a long-term, qualitative relationship. Research from the Congressional Management Foundation suggests that broader, more dynamic, and diverse activities, conducted over a longer period of time with the goal of developing relationships between constituents and congressional offices, are more successful advocacy strategies.
Finding your Elected Officials
A number of online databases exist to help connect you with your local and national representatives. By providing basic information like your address, you can find contact information and committee assignments for your elected officials.
Federal Elected Officials
Reach out to your federal elected officials if a national bill or measure is being considered that you believe will affect your state’s fiscal sustainability.
- President: Contact the President online, or call the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 or the comments line at 202-456-1111 during business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time.
- Senators: Find the Senators who represent your state.
- District Representative: Find the Representative for your district.
State Elected Officials
Reach out to your state elected officials if a statewide or federal bill/measure is being considered that you believe will affect your state’s fiscal sustainability.
- State's Governor: Find your state’s governor. Once you select a state, this website will direct you to your governor’s contact page.
- Legislators: Visit your state legislature’s website. From there, look for a contact page of legislators that can be filtered by district.
Local Elected Officials
You should reach out to your locally elected officials whenever there is a bill or measure being considered at the state or local level that directly affects your local community.
- Mayors: Find your mayor’s contact information by searching by their name or by city name.
- County Executive: Look for your county executive contact information (the head of the executive branch of government in your county) by map search or ZIP code.
- City, County, and Town Officials: Search for city, county, and town officials. Once you identify your state, this site will take you directly to a complete list of city and town websites.
What to say when contacting your elected officials?
Sharing your personal story is a helpful way to resonate with elected officials.
Describe the issue you would like to discuss
Come prepared with thoughtful, solution-oriented ideas to share. Establish a personal connection to the issue you would like to discuss to underscore why it is important, why you care about it and why, as their representative, they should too.
Make a specific request
Whatever your request is, make it focused and specific. Ask what their plans are for certain issues or legislation and keep the discussion centered around that topic for your entire meeting.
Always thank them for their time and express gratitude for their service.
Take Action: Get Involved!
Whether you’re passionate about health care, higher education, clean energy technology, or national defense, you have a vested interest in making sure we get our fiscal policy on a sustainable path. In addition to reaching out to your elected officials, you can sign the pledge to let local representatives know that you are concerned about the nation’s fiscal future.
Learn more about how to contact your elected officials, what to say, the do's, don'ts, and more in our free Get Heard Guide.