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Contacting Your Legislator

Contacting your legislator can be done in many ways. If not urgent, faxing a personal letter is a good way to make your views known. (We do not recommend sending by mail due to the irradiation delay all mail to Congress goes through.) It is best if you learn who the health legislative assistant, or LA, is, so you can call them when an issue comes up and the timing is critical. Additionally,  personal emails to a specific health staffer (once you know that person) are helpful, but not ones directed to the office email account.

All members of the House and Senate can be reached using the following addresses:

The Honorable (full name)  
United States Senate  
Washington, DC 20510 

Dear Senator "Lastname," 
The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Rep
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative "Lastname,"

When contacting a member of Congress, remember:

  • Emails are more effective if you send them to a specific staff member. Try to find out the name and direct email of the staffer who deals with the issue you're interested in. 
  • When calling, ask to speak with the specific staffer involved with the issue. If that staffer is not available, don't leave a message; instead, ask for a good time to call back or get an email address. 
  • Keep your comments short and to the point. Address only one issue per contact.
  • When sending a letter or fax, use personal stationery and write legibly or type.
  • When writing or speaking about legislation, identify the subject clearly. Use the House and Senate bill number and sponsor, if available.
  • State your reason for writing or calling. Explain how the issue affects you, your program, or your practice choices. Personal anecdotes are particularly effective.
  • Be polite, but firm. Do not use threats or wave the power of your vote.
  • Take a position and ask your Representative/Senator's position on the issue.
  • Avoid cliches that give your letter or phone call the appearance of a letter campaign. Once again, it is helpful to add personal stories to your narrative.

Copyright 2018 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine