How to contact your elected officials

 

Legislators are people from all walks of life that have experience and expertise in specific areas.  There is no one person who can be knowledgeable on all things in life.  That's why they rely on their constituents to give them feedback on specific topics.  

Giving information to our elected officials is important.  It will not help your cause if your legislator, city council, county commissioner or congressman do not understand the issue and how the laws and regulations effect the people in the communities they represent.

Just as important as providing the information is how it's delivered.  The message should be well thought out and delivered in simple easy to understand language.  

It's also important to be polite and professional when communicating with elected officials.  Just because you disagree with the politics does not give license to be rude.  Rudeness will not get your message heard and can actually hurt your cause rather than help. 

Tips for communicating with your elected officials.

bulletDon't contact your elected official when angry.  Use the anger to motivate but not communicate.  Write your letter and leave it, review when you're calm.

 

bulletFacts are more convincing than emotion.  Make sure you have information that you can back up with fact.  

 

bulletWhen calling or meeting with your officials write out what you want to say and practice.  You'll feel and sound more confident if you know what you want to say and practice it. 

 

bulletBe respectful, polite and use the person's official title.  Regardless of your opinion they won the election and earned the title.  There is no excuse for rudeness and you certainly won't win any points with anyone.

 

bulletState your position clearly and simply.  Don't "try the case" while making your points.   A few main points make more impact than a complicated list.

 

bulletAlways sign your letter and list contact information, phone and address.  It lends creditability as well as allows for any follow up information or questions the official may have.

 

bulletWhen meeting with your legislator make an appointment. Send a thank you note after the meeting. 

 

bulletIf speaking to elected officials is not your strength, don't.  Recruit someone to be a spokesperson and visit your elected official in a small group.  No more than two to three people.     

 

bulletWhen writing to legislators the US postal service is more effective however, it is slower.  If time is important then go with email, fax or phone call. 

 

bulletWhen emailing or faxing use your "return receipt" or "confirmation of fax" function.

 

bulletWhen your legislator votes or confirms your position publicly make sure to acknowledge your appreciation by sending an email or a hand written note to thank them for supporting your issue.      

 

 

Websites To Locate Elected Official's Contact Information

State of Oklahoma Information

Oklahoma House of Representatives

       http://www.okhouse.gov/Members/MemberListing.aspx

Oklahoma Senate

      http://www.oksenate.gov/senators.htm

Oklahoma Governor's Contact Page

       http://www.gov.ok.gov/contact.php

 

Federal Information

US House of Representatives

      http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/index.html

US Senate

      http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm


 

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