There are a variety of ways to express your views about budget priorities, ranging in ease from sending a tweet to visiting Washington for a face-to-face meeting with a legislator.
Remember, while you are free to contact any member of Congress, you will be most effective by contacting legislators who represent you directly. Find information for your representatives below.
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Call your representative directly or call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
One way to save time and help you make calling Congress a habit is to save legislators’ phone numbers in your cell phone.
Writing a Letter or Email
Personal messages from constituents can be a very effective way of communicating with your legislators. Always be sure to include your name and address to make it clear that you live in the relevant district or state. All letters should start with Dear Senator/Representative, and they can be just a few paragraphs about a single issue.
While you can always use information you have found through various sources, you should write your letter in your own words. Include specific information about the bill or program about which you’re writing. Details about personal or local impact are very effective. Always be courteous, and be very clear about what action you’d like your legislator to take.
Address your letter as follows:
The Honorable (Full Name)
[Room #] [Building Name] Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable (Full Name)
[Room #] [Building Name] House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
When writing to the Chair of a Committee or the Speaker of the House, it is appropriate to begin letters with “Dear Mr./Madam Chairman/woman” or “Dear Mr./Madam Speaker.”
For the President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Comment Line: 202-456-1111
Due to security concerns, mail delivery to Capitol Hill or the White House can be slow. If you are writing a letter about a pressing issue or upcoming vote, be sure to leave extra time for delivery or send it to their local office. You can also send a letter by email through your legislator’s website.
The newest and easiest method of contacting your representatives is through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. While phone calls and letters may still carry more weight in the eyes of lawmakers and congressional aides, speaking to your legislators through social media has the advantage of occurring in the public eye. When you comment on your legislator’s Facebook page or send a tweet, other constituents can read your message. This may spark a dialogue. It could also help increase awareness about the issue you’re raising and build support for your cause.
Through social media sites you can ask questions, respond to legislators’ posts or Tweets, encourage them to take action, thank them when they do something you support, and much more. Always be respectful and never use offensive language.