Phone Calls

In every legislative effort there comes a time when it is crucial to have immediate contact from the grassroots. Often there is less than twenty-four hours before a key vote. A process for telephoning members and urging personal phone calls to legislators before a key vote is essential. Several calls to a legislator's office just before a vote can be persuasive, especially if the legislator has not taken a definite stand on the issue.

If it is impossible to speak directly with the legislator, ask to speak with his or her legislative aide or leave a detailed message. Legislative offices keep count of pro and con phone calls on particular issues.

A Checklist for Telephone Calls

  • Identify yourself by name and profession, and as a constituent if you live in the district.
  • Identify the bill by its number and author.
  • Ask for the legislator's view, remembering that diplomacy and tact will keep the door open for further contact.
  • Briefly state your position and how you would like the legislator to vote.
  • Tell the legislator how many people you have in your group who concur with your opinion.Be ready to back the number up with a list of names. Offer to provide it.
  • If you talk with staff, request that your message be relayed to the legislator.
  • Phone calls may be most effective in the last few days before a vote.