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View Diary: How to be effective about contacting your senator: What Really Happens When You Call? (144 comments)

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  •  Wow! (4.00)
    People recommending my diary?  I'm all of a dither!  Yes, should have mentioned that if the senator is on a committee, it's likely that the committee staff are the ones who handle most pressing issues on that topic and you should try and make contacts there, rather than in the senator's home office --- but if you call the home office, they should be able to transfer you.
    •  Great!! May I Suggest You Submit This (none)
      well-informed advice to other blogs, such as Democracy for America if you haven't, of organizations that are mobilizing elements of the grass roots.

      It wouldn't hurt to try to find some minority organizations too. Minorities have been complaining about being ignored since forever, and heaven knows we need their partnership now more than ever.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 12:52:24 PM PST

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    •  I've been wondering about this! (none)
      So thanks for your timely diary. What happens to mass "petitions", like from MoveOn.org, which are signed by constituents from every state?
    •  Couple of quick questions... (none)
      What is your recommended method of communication? Is a phone call better than a letter?  

      When writing letters, is there a word limit one should work for? Should it kinda take a format like "I'm a consituent and a __ (insert interest group here) and I feel you should support/oppose X." Then go on to say why in a few sentences then summarize in a couple of sentences?

      I've never actually communicated with my elected officials and my husband and I have decided our best short-term impact on things that are bothering us is to write letters to our officials and send $$ when we can to support our causes. I'd like to make sure our letters are formatted for maximum impact.

      Thanks for a great diary!

      Where are we going and what are we doing in this hand basket?

      by awnm on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 01:25:19 PM PST

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      •  First let me say that (none)
        I love your sig... first saw that on a bumper sticker while working in D.C. and it's more appropriate now than ever.

        Secondly, original, hand-written letters, or phone calls are the best.  When I was there, they were treated approximately equally, but you can lay out more of a case in a letter.  If it's not a form letter, it gets read, no matter how long, but obviously succinct and well-written is better than rambling and incoherent. :-)  Although, judging from some of the comments, a phone call might be best in these post-anthrax scare days if you really want to get a message through in a timely fashion.

        •  Thanks!! n/t (none)

          Where are we going and what are we doing in this hand basket?

          by awnm on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 07:49:52 AM PST

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          •  I should have mentioned (none)
            that faxing your letter is a good option.  Faxes were actually sorted well, and if you include a return address, then it will be treated like a regular letter.

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