If time is limited, then it's time to take immediate action by calling your elected official, legislator or member of Congress. Sometimes a personal phone call is the best way to reach your legislator. It can be both effective and timely when it comes to trying to advocate for an issue. Phone calls sometimes work better than written forms of communication like letters or email. This is because the person on the other line has to listen to what you have to say. They can’t just skim the words like they could with something written.
What to do when you call:
- Be professional. Make sure you speak clearly and slowly when talking to your legislator or their staff.
- Before you call, it is a good idea to prepare a script so you know what you want to say. You should talk about your personal experiences. That will show why the problem you are calling about is important to you. Be sure to keep your call short. That way, the person you are talking to will understand the main point of what you are saying.
- Give your name and address to let them know that you are a constituent, and identify yourself as a member of Farm Bureau.
- State the bill or issue you are addressing.
- Give a short statement on how you would like your legislator to vote.
- Always say thank you. Legislators, elected officials and members of Congress hear complaints all the time, and they feel rewarded when their actions are appreciated.
Keep phone calls short and to the point.
- Example: “Good morning! My name is Jane Brown. I am a constituent and I live at 2222 Main Street in Benton Arkansas. I am also a Farm Bureau member. I’m calling to ask for you to vote yes on issue... and support these agricultural programs. My phone number is 333-333-333. Please call if you have any questions. Thank you for your time!”
If you need to give a more detailed position, consider the following:
- Ask for a staff member who handles the issue you are advocating for. They can relay comments to the legislator.
- Ask for your legislator’s stance on the issue and for them to take your position on the issue.
- If you do not know an answer to a question, do not be afraid to say so. Tell the staff member that you will follow up later with the information they requested.