ADVOCACY TACTICS

Mass office calling is a light lift, but regularly flooding congressional offices with calls at opportune moments can have an impact and will be noticed by MoCs (Members of Congress – Senators or Representatives).

  • Find the local phone numbers for your MoCs. See the lists provided to you by our BID group, or search www.callmycongress.com.

  • Prepare a single question per call. Keep it simple. You and your group should all agree to call in on one specific issue that day. Should be a live issue (e.g., a vote that’s coming up, chance to take a stand, or other time-sensitive opportunity.

  • Find out whom you’re talking to. You want to talk to the legislative staffer who covers the issue you’re calling about, not an intern or other very junior staffer in the office.

TWO WAYS TO DO THIS:

  • Ask to speak to the staffer who handles the issue (e.g., immigration, health care, etc.). The junior staff usually will not tell you who this is, and will just take down your comment instead.

  • On a different day, call and ask whoever answers the phone: “Hi, can you confirm the name of the staffer who covers [immigration, health care, etc.]?” Staff will generally tell you the name. Say: “Thanks!” and hang up.

Ask for staffer by name when you call back next time.

  • If you’re directed to voicemail, follow up with email. Then follow up again. Junior staffer will probably tell you the person is not in and will ask if you’d like to leave a voicemail. Go ahead and leave a voicemail, but don’t expect a call back. Leave voicemail and then immediately follow up with an email to the staffer. Follow up again if they don’t respond. If they still don’t respond, let the world know the MoC’s office is dodging you.

NOTE: Congressional email addresses are standardized so you can probably guess it if you have the staffer’s first and last name.

 

  • Keep a record of the conversation. Take detailed notes on everything the staffer tells you, and everything they tell you is public information that can be shared widely. Compare notes with your group and identify any conflicts in what they’re telling constituents.

  • Report back to media contacts and your group – what the staffer said when you called.

 

Derived from INDIVISIBLE: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda, CHAPTER 4: FOUR LOCAL ADVOCACY TACTICS THAT ACTUALLY WORK

BACK TO GUIDELINES

ADVOCACY TACTICS for COORDINATED CALLS: OUTLINE OF STEPS