Sending personalized messages online about the issues that are critical to your science is an effective method for communicating with Congress. Additionally, calling the office of your member of congress is another useful outreach effort. Here are some practical tips to get you started.
Every member of Congress maintains a website with an easy-to-use contact page. The contact pages vary a bit from member to member, but the overall process is the same. To access your legislators form, use the quick links on the right hand side. Simply fill in the blanks with your contact information, choose your general topic from a drop-down menu (e.g., “Agriculture”), enter a subject line, type your personalized message, and hit “Send.”
The Subject Line: Be specific in your subject line. If you are writing about funding for a particular program, be sure and include the term “appropriations” and the name of the program in the subject line. If you are writing about a specific piece of legislation, include the appropriate identifiers such as the bill name or bill number as follows:
The Message: Keep it simple. Stick to a single topic or issue. A short (3-paragraph) message is best. Follow the example below, but make it personal!
The Response: You will likely receive a response from the member. The response may contain personalized wording but will probably contain form letter text. Don’t be discouraged. Be persistent. Your emails will be read!
To reach members of congress via phone:
Each member of congress has staff members dedicated to agriculture and appropriations issues. In addition to utilizing the online contact forms described above, it can be quite effective to directly contact staffers who are involved in handling matters related to agricultural research. As a service to the membership, APS is providing the contact information for the agriculture and appropriations staff at each senate office. Please take advantage of the opportunity to be heard directly by contacting the appropriate individuals at your senators' offices. Click on the links below to view this contact information (organized by region).
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