Contacting Your Elected Officials to Make Your Voice Heard

( – There’s no point in living in a democracy if you can’t influence what the politicians you elect do with the power you give them. Unfortunately, being elected sometimes seems to have a corrosive effect on many in our government. The good news is that if you know what you’re doing, you can make them listen to you.

First, be clear on what you want to achieve. Is there a cause you support or something your government is doing that you think it could do better? If there’s an issue you care about, check to see if there are already groups campaigning on it. It’s always easier to join a campaign than start one, and if a group is working to get what you want, they’ve already done a lot of the groundwork. You can add your efforts to what they’re doing instead of having to set it up yourself.

If you decide to contact your elected politicians to let them know your views or ask them for action, first you have to find out who they are. Luckily, some online resources can help you do that. You can find your representative on the House website by simply entering your zip code. Common Cause has a similar tool where you can find all of your elected officials.

Elected officials get a lot of mail, so you need to play it clever if you want them to actually listen to you. Instead of writing or emailing, try phoning them instead. It’s harder to ignore, and if you don’t get a hold of them when you call, it’s worth asking their office to arrange a telephone appointment.

If you don’t already have a specific cause you’re interested in but feel you should play your part in our political system, it isn’t hard to find an issue you can help with. Whatever your politics, there’s no shortage of things to campaign for. You can find a cause on social media or look online for popular ones.

Whatever you decide to campaign for, it’s a great way to remind politicians that we give them their power to use on our behalf, and they can’t ignore our voices. It’s also really satisfying when something improves because of your actions. Get out there and make a difference!

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