Tips: Calling Your Members of Congress
Do you know if your members of Congress have signed-on to fund and implement the Elder Justice Act? If not, one quick way to find out is to call them, ask them if they will be voting yes on the appropriations to make sure the Elder Justice Act is not just a promise on paper. If they are undecided, ask them to add their names to the growing list of Congressional Representatives who believe it is critical to protect older Americans from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
If you are not able to meet with your Senators and Representative, or their staff, make a call to their Congressional offices. They pay close attention to issue-related phone calls as a measure of voters’ sentiment. An outpouring of calls can sometimes change the vote of a legislator, but even a small number of calls can make a difference by alerting the member to your particular concern or the need to co-sponsor legislation.
When you call
• Ask to speak to the staff member that covers aging or elder justice issues.
• When you reach the correct staff person, tell them who you are and who you represent.
• Explain why you are calling and use the Talking Points the EJC provided.
• At the end of the call, ask that your senator or representative send you a written response. This will help ensure that your call gets counted and you know whether the Member will cosponsor the bill.
Where to call
Most senators and representatives maintain one or more offices in the state or congressional district they represent. You can find the phone number in the U.S. government section of your telephone book, by calling information or visiting their website.
If you wish to contact your legislator in the Washington, D.C., office (either the personal office or a committee office), use the Capitol switchboard to place the call or to obtain the phone number. Simply dial 202-224-3121 and ask for your legislator’s office. If the line is busy, try the aforementioned sources for the Member’s direct office number or use the Internet – www.senate.gov and www.house.gov.