How to Message Your Lawmakers
- Members of Congress want to hear from their constituents and won't pay much attention to someone else's voters.
- Be specific and get to the point!
Subject Line: State your position or "ask" in the subject. If referencing a bill, include it. Example: "YES on H.R. 123"
- Identify yourself, where you are from and why you are emailing. If you are referencing a specific bill, include the bill number (e.g., H.R. 123 or S. 456).
- Describe the importance of the issue to you, your institution, community or state. Personalize your letter and make sure to focus on local impacts if you can.
- Identify your “ask.” Clearly state what action you would like your member of Congress to take. If you are requesting your legislator to vote Yes or No on an upcoming vote on a bill, be direct and say so.
Or, direct their attention to one of our advocacy focus issues or our position statements on policy issues and politely ask that they take leadership on it!
- Conclusion: Request a reply and include all of your contact information.
Signature Block: If emailing, provide your address after your name so that your elected official knows you're a constituent.
Thank You Follow-Up
- If your legislator responds, follow up with a thank you note. This is especially important— part of your goal is to establish a relationship with your elected officials.
Use the letter example to send a message to your representative
Subject: Support S.2012
Dear Senator/Representative ____________:
I am writing today to urge your support for S.2012, the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act, sponsored by Senators Murkowski (R-AK) and Cantwell (D-WA). As a chemist, I believe we should promote sustainable energy production and use.
Energy production and use is one of the most critical and complex policy issues of our time, with significant implications for our environment, economy, and national security. This legislation represents a thoughtful and bipartisan approach to a complex issue, and I support the approach established in S.2012.
Most importantly, S.2012 robustly supports research at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science. DOE Science supports cutting edge research at our universities and national laboratories, and is the key to a sustainable energy future.
In addition, the legislation also supports improved energy efficiency standards, research into critical materials and rare earth elements, energy storage and grid modernization, and innovative approaches to addressing the intersection of food-energy-water in our economy. Each of these areas plays an increasingly large role in energy production, use, and storage and I urge Congress to focus on positive solutions in each arena.
Energy use and production is among the defining issues of our time, and I support this bipartisan legislation. Please support measures to move forward with debate on S.2012 and final passage.
I would be grateful for your prompt reply. Thank you for your time and attention.
Stu Dent, 365 Chemistry Ave, Anytown, USA 12345