- Ask to speak with the staff person responsible for the issue. On foreign policy issues, this will often be the foreign policy aide. Give your name and tell her or him that you are a constituent (you will be more likely to get through).
- Introduce yourself very briefly to the staffer, explaining that you are a constituent and, if you belong to a local organization that's concerned about this issue, add that connection.
- Be specific about what you want your representative or senator to do. Don't just complain about an issue. Say you want them to vote for or sponsor a specific bill or amendment, or take a particular action, such as sign a congressional "dear colleague" letter. For more on current actions, visit our Action Center.
- Ask what your representative's position is on the issue. If the staff person doesn't know or won't say what their position is, have them ask their boss and get back to you with that information.
- Thank them for their time.
- Be prepared to have to leave a voicemail. Before you call, prepare a brief one, 2-3 sentence summary of what you want to say. Do give your name and contact information. You may want to ask them to call you back. If it's right before a vote, leaving your "plug" for the vote without asking for a call back may be sufficient.