What keeps you from contacting Congress? What we most often get asked is, “Does it matter?” or “Will I be heard?” The short answer is yes. Every message matters in some way and has an impact. The real question is, how will your message be the most effective?

Cokie Roberts is a political columnist and commentator – and the child of two members of Congress. Collectively, these experiences mean that she knows quite a bit about how to influence Congress. Recently during a Q & A session, she was asked the following –

What weight do politicians give to phone calls and letters? What’s the most effective way to influence our congresspeople? What do you think?

Here is some of what she shared:

  • Members of Congress give tremendous weight to letters and phone calls from people in their districts.
  • If they learn ways you are active or engaged in your community or district (or even a role you play, such as educator or pastor), they will pay attention.
  • If people from a member’s district go to their offices and see that member, it really can make a difference.
  • Despite how it may seem, members of Congress are very aware of what is on their voters’ minds and the community’s priorities – they are constantly out in the community.

Next week we will kick off a series on how to most effectively communicate with your members of Congress. We will dissect the methods you use most, including phone calls and emails, and tell you what information to include, how to present it so it will be heard, and talk about what happens when an office receives it. Subscribe to our weekly updates or bookmark this link to follow our series– Talking to Congress Step by Step!

See the full transcript of the conversation with Cokie Roberts here.

Photo: © 2016 World Vision/ photo by Laura Reinhardt

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