6 Tips for Communicating with Your Elected Officials


1. Do your research.

You do not need to be an expert on the subject matter, but you do need to be prepared. Read a variety of articles related to your issue, know what your opponents might say and be prepared to answer their concerns.

2. Make an in-person visit.

Visiting in person has the greatest effect, but if you can’t visit in person, make a phone call or write a personal email. Sharing a personal story or unique way a bill or issue affects you is much more impactful than a form letter.

3. Tailor your message for your audience.

Determine in advance your main message. Acknowledge any past work the elected official has done on the issue. Make a connection. For example, if your elected official was previously in law enforcement think about how your issue relates to public safety.

4. Make a specific request.

It helps legislative staff know what you’d like the member to do about all the information you share with them. For example, “I am asking you to vote for HB 5.”

5. Be Flexible.

Legislators and their staff are extremely busy so their schedules may make it difficult for them to meet with you at your exact appointment time. Do not get frustrated if you do not get everything you ask for on your first request. Some issues are so big and so complex it may take several legislative sessions to adequately address the issue.

6. Stay Connected.

Write a note or send an email letting them know you are praying for them regularly. Connect via social media (i.e. friend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter). Attend a town hall meeting. Invite them or their staff to visit your church or ministry.

Related articles: Gerson outlines a Christian approach to social engagement at CLC Advocacy Day / CLC to host Advocacy Day in Austin for Texas Baptists / CLC announces public policy priorities