8 Practical Tips for Communicating with Congress
Open Doors is involved in several advocacy campaigns each year. Some campaigns involve contacting members of Congress regarding international religious freedom issues and/or legislation. We usually provide a sample letter that you can easily personalize. Here are a few communication tips for contacting members of Congress about religious freedom issues:
- Be respectful and courteous.
- Identify yourself as a Constituent. If you cannot be recognized as a constituent, your communication is likely to be ignored.
- For members of the Senate, address your letter to Dear Senator Last Name. For members of The House of Representatives, address your letter to Dear Congressman/Congresswoman Last Name or Dear Representative Last Name.
- Know your issue. If you are writing in reference to a particular bill, refer to the measure’s House or Senate bill number and/or title.
- Keep your comments brief and to the point. Cover only one issue per letter. Utilize our website as a resource, but do not mention Open Doors in your email.
- Don’t forget to send an appreciative note to your member of Congress when they take action on an issue related to religious freedom. For example:”Hello, my name is Scott Jones, and I am a constituent of (name of senator or representative). I am calling today to urge them to support/oppose HR 1234. Thank you.”
- When making a call to your member of Congress, the first thing you need to do is state your name to the staff member and mention you are a constituent of the legislator. Then describe the purpose of your call.
- Find contact information for members of Congress here.
Advocacy Blog Posts
Kristin Wright serves as the Director of Advocacy at Open Doors USA. Kristin is a regular contributor to the Open Doors USA blog, covering advocacy initiatives, campaigns and trips.