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Generating large numbers of calls, emails, or letters into legislators’ offices can be an important and effective organizing strategy. CASE will work with our members to let them know when key legislators need to hear from you.
Legislators' offices receive a large volume of communications, especially on controversial issues or legislation. And they pay attention to the number of calls or other contacts as a way to gauge the intensity of their constituents’ interests on different sides of an issue.
As you would expect, thoughtful individual letters will have a much greater impact than a form letter or pre-printed postcard. If you’re able to get a number of community leaders to write their own letters explaining why your issue or campaign is important to them, that message will be heard. You can also gather multiple signatures or a single letter. A sign-on letter can be useful in demonstrating the breadth and diversity of support for your proposal or issue campaign and in generating media interest. You might even consider multiple sign-on letters, such as one from business leaders, one from religious leaders, one from educators, etc.
Unless you have a strong personal relationship with your legislator, you aren’t likely to get through on a phone call, but it’s worth asking. If you can’t reach the legislator directly, ask to speak with the staff member who works on the issue you’re calling about. If you are calling about a specific piece of legislation, especially if it’s controversial, the person answering the phone may be getting a lot of calls and may simply take your position to tally it one way or the other.