Interact with Lawmakers
Contacting your Elected Representatives
Let’s get one thing straight from the outset: Calling and writing your members of congress every time somebody tells you to on Facebook or Twitter is a losing proposition. Never mind whether or not lawmakers take these communications seriously, doing this several times a week is a good way to burn yourself out. And honestly what good are you to the resistance if you’re burned out?
1. Pick your battles. Choose two or three issues that are most important to you, and contact your reps about those when a crucial vote is coming up. Of course you care about many issues, but again, you don’t want to burn yourself out. Remember, fixing this mess isn’t up to you alone – there are millions of people as upset as you, and many of them are making their voice heard, too.
2. Contact federal, state and local reps as needed. While the U.S. Congress affects us all, what state and local reps do affects us just as much. If one of your chosen issues from No. 1 is immigration, bug the hell out of your state senators, reps and city council members over how your undocumented friends and neighbors are being treated.
So what’s the most effective way to contact your reps? For your members of congress (MOCs) we defer to the Indivisible Guide here:
Addressing your City Council Directly
This is really pretty simple if you have the time to devote to it. City council meetings are open to the public, and take time – usually at the beginning – to hear from citizens about anything that ISN’T on that day’s agenda. Simply arrive before the meeting begins and fill out a special card. The council will then call your name and you can say your peace. You can also use this system if you want to address anything that’s on that day’s agenda, too. This video gives you an idea of how this all works.
Addressing the State Legislature Directly
Just as with city councils, you can put your case directly to an Arizona House or Senate committee in person at the state capitol. Unlike many city councils, however, the state legislature requires you to request to speak using a special online sign-up system, aptly called “Request to Speak.”
The bad news: It’s so complicated that you actually need a bit of instruction on how to use it. The good news: It allows you to weigh in on specific bills from the comfort of your own home. This video will walk you through how to use this system.