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How you can influence the legislative process


You can use your power as a constituent to influence legislators all year long. You can call them, write them or make personal contact with them. Arise’s Legislative Days are great, but it’s even better to contact lawmakers in their home districts. Find contact information by calling (334) 242-7600 (House) or (334) 242-7800 (Senate).

  1. Make a call. Before contacting your legislator by phone, prepare for the call. Here’s how you can create an informal “script” to guide your call:
    • Give your name and where you live.
    • Identify the general reason for your call – for example, “I’d like to talk with you about Medicaid.”
    • Mention that you’re a member of Arise and that our members are interested in the issue. (To the legislator, this means voters!)
    • Refer to a specific piece of legislation, if there is one, including the bill number.
    • Make it personal. Tell a brief story or say why it matters to you.
    • Ask them to vote for the bill and where (in committee, on the floor, etc.).
    • Thank them in advance.
    • If you get a legislator’s secretary or voicemail, that’s OK – your message still will get through.
  2. Write a letter or email. Most legislators read their mail. You can write to any legislator by using the following address: Alabama State House, Montgomery, AL 36130. Remember:
    • Use your own words. Form letters are easy to recognize and less effective than personal statements.
    • Both handwritten and typed letters are fine.
    • Include the same information you would cover in a phone call, as noted above.
    • Limit your letter to one page, in most cases. Shorter is better.
    • Put letter-writing on your group’s agenda. Keep paper, envelopes, pens, stamps and addresses handy.
    • Many legislators also use email, and many legislative web pages list an address. Be sure your subject line is simple and informative so it won’t resemble junk mail.
    • Follow your legislators on Twitter or contact them via Facebook if these options are available.
  3. Make face-to-face contact. Legislators like to talk to voters. Make it a point to greet them when you see them in public.
    • It’s good to meet with them to introduce your group as active constituents.
    • Invite them to your meeting – but remember how busy they are.
    • Praise them when they deserve it, and respectfully express disapproval when they don’t.