How to most effectively communicate with elected representatives?
June 10, 2014 10:29 AM Subscribe
In the wake of recent events (left out as this isn't a partisan question, but yes, you all know what I'm referring to), I'd like to contact my elected representatives to urge them to enact and support specific changes to current US laws & policies. I've casually contacted representatives before, usually through canned twitter or emails through various petitions & other party-line websites, but I've never engaged more because I was never sure just how effective it would be - particularly when I am contacting an official who has the opposite viewpoint from mine. So my question is: what is the most effective way to use my time in contacting local and state officials to communicate my views on certain issues?
This question breaks down a bit further:
* what is the most effective method? Is there one, anymore, or is it a bit of a crapshoot who will respond to pressure on social media more than a private letter/email/phone call & vice versa?
* if a letter or email is best, how does one write such a letter? Is it worthwhile to spend the time writing a long letter conveying a deeply held view & knowledge of the subject, or will my letter just be tallied by a media coordinator who will just put me down as a tick in a box for or against, and so a short letter is a better use of my time?
* is it worth it to write to representatives who aren't my representatives? I.e. to write to people who hold particular sway, are on a particular committee, or who have a specific viewpoint that I find admirable/otherwise, even if I cannot vote for or against them?
* Anything else I haven't thought of? I'm passionate about certain issues but am not politically engaged (beyond always voting, of course), so I welcome any information I may not have thought to ask for on this subject.