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Lobby / Communicate

↠Go to Town Halls & Lobby Days

In person is best. If you have a chance to talk to your reps or their staff in person at a Town Hall or Lobby day — take it!
Advice from Amnesty International
Find an upcoming Town Hall

Tips on attending a town hall

If your representative is holding a town hall meeting, you'll want to prepare and arrive early. Most town hall meeting venues hold 100–200 people. They will fill up quickly. You'll want to arrive a couple hours early to make sure you get a seat.
A couple more pointers [click]

Be safe. It's not out of the realm of possibility that a few people will try to rile up the crowd and attempt to incite violence. Most town hall meetings will have at least one police officer, so if you see someone doing something dangerous, let law enforcement know.

Leave your signs at home. You won't be allowed to bring them into the venue, and they are distracting and cumbersome for other attendees.

Keep your questions pointed and brief. Don't spend too much time asking rhetorical questions. Make your statement and your question timely and ask specific questions. Practice beforehand if you need to.

Talk to staff. Staffers from the state and DC offices attend town hall meetings. Try to introduce yourself before or after the meeting and have a short conversation. This is a good way to get on their radar and possibly arrange a meeting later.
— Emily Ellsworth


↠Make phone calls

Contact info for your reps

Phone calls do work. According to Emily Ellsworth, best to call "their district (state) office. They have to talk to you there." Staffers keep track of what issue you call about -- so be clear and specific.

communication-emily-ellsworth

Be brave!

It's frightening to make those first calls. Here's a little help from a friend (click on the graphic):

illustration by Cordelia how-to-call

Conventional wisdom is that online petitions, Tweets, and Facebook posts don't have much effect.

More advice

  • How to Make Your Congressman Listen to You, by former staffer Emily Ellsworth
  • "We're His Problem Now" Calling Sheet: a treasure trove of advice! Note it is a Google Spreadsheet —there are tabs at the bottom to additional sheets.
  • photo-warner-office-2017-02-14

    Lobby Day at Senator Warner's Tyson's office 2/14/17.