Contacting Legislators Guide
Calling your legislator
A phone call is one of the best ways to make your views known to elected officials. It’s more effective than social media, email or even snail mail. A phone call demonstrates that you are highly engaged and deeply committed to your cause. Lawmakers take notice. So don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and make that call.
Here’s how to prepare and what to expect.
Prior to the call
- Before making the call, take a few minutes to gather your thoughts and prepare what you want to say.
- If you are using the MSU Denver Champions OneClick Politics platform to make your calls, review the issue outlined on the email to familiarize yourself with the policy matter.
- On the action page, after you fill in your contact information, you will be automatically connected with your legislator(s). There will be a call script and an email message you can use to guide your conversation.
During the call
- Expect to speak with a staff member, not your legislator, and be prepared to provide your name, hometown and, possibly, your zip code.
- Be concise and make your points clearly.
- Always be polite in both tone and language.
- Explain why you are calling and what action you would like your legislator to take (for example, that you would like them to support increased funding for MSU Denver to keep tuition affordable.)
- When possible, discuss the issue from a personal perspective — sharing your own experience is especially powerful.
- Thank the staff member for taking the time to talk with you.
- Remember: Although you spoke with a staff member, your views will be conveyed to your legislator.
- Did you reach the office’s voicemail? That is OK: leave a message. Offices check their voice messages and keep track of constituent concerns.
After the call
- Consider additional actions you can take on the issue: post on social media and tag your legislator(s) and/or email your legislator(s).
- Call back again in a few days to restate your concerns and views and ask whether your lawmaker has committed to supporting your point of view.
Talking to a legislator in the Capitol
Step One: Invite them out to the lobby
- Write the elected official’s last name on business-sized card.
- Write a quick and polite note. For example, “May I have a moment of your time? YOUR NAME, MSU Denver student”
- Hand in that card to the Sergeant-at-arms.
Step Two: Tell them your MSU Denver story
- Introduce yourself and tell them why you want to talk to them. “Hello, I’m YOUR NAME and I’m studying __________ at MSU Denver. I’d like to talk with you about supporting funding for higher education.”
- Why are you at MSU Denver? Tell them!
Step Three: Follow Up!
- Thank them for their time.
- Take notes for a follow up note or thank you letter.
Follow up when action is taken
- If your legislator responds to you and takes favorable action, always follow up with a thank you message – call, email or mail a handwritten note.