Alabama Arise 2023 membership brochure

Alabama Arise’s power and voice at the Legislature gets stronger when our membership is growing and diversifying. We encourage you to invite your family, friends and network to join you in supporting Arise – and we have materials to help you share our work.

You can download our membership brochure here. It includes information about:

  • Our mission and vision
  • Our three pillars of work
  • Our current policy priorities
  • How to become a member
  • Benefits of being an Arise member

Thank you for helping Arise build a community-centered movement for a better Alabama!

Download our membership brochure here.

What can one person do? 30 action steps

People often ask where they can start and what they can do to be advocates for change in Alabama. Here are some practical ideas from Alabama Arise:

  1. Understand: Advocacy has an important place alongside charity. Writing a $50 check to a local program or an international relief effort can benefit people in need. Writing a letter to an elected official can help leverage millions of dollars to help people in need. We can be good stewards of our gifts of money – and also good stewards of our gift of citizenship. As an example: One church’s mission committee gave members grocery sacks, with an envelope, paper and information on a hunger issue paper-clipped to them. They asked people to take two actions: Bring back the grocery sack filled with cans, and write a letter to a lawmaker to support good public policy.
  2. To influence a legislator, phone calls and letters are the most effective form of communication. The rule of thumb is this: Lawmakers assume that the amount of time you spend indicates how much you care about the issue. Taking a few minutes to write a note or personalize an email shows more interest than taking 10 seconds to sign a form letter. (Note: There may be other reasons to run petition campaigns, so don’t write them off entirely!)
  3. If possible, ask for a specific action on specific legislation. It’s not usually effective to say, “Please do something to help homeless families.” Legislators may talk a good line about their concern for people in need, but it’s harder to dodge a specific request, such as, “Please vote for House Bill 212 when it comes before the Commerce Committee.”
  4. Join an organized group. Advocacy groups decide on issue targets and then organize people to achieve a win. When their newsletter or website educates you about an issue, you can get more out of news coverage of that issue – and advocate more effectively for change.
  5. Letters to the editor are an effective tool. Not only can you help to educate the public on an issue, you also may catch the attention of your lawmakers – especially if you name them in the letter. Also, when you read an especially good op-ed (or letter to the editor or article), email it or clip it and send it to your legislator. This shows there’s a constituency for that point of view.
  6. Invite a speaker. Groups like Arise have organizers whose job is to help get people started in advocacy. Arrange for a speaker for your organization, your committee or your Sunday School class – or set up a special online session. We’re happy to help!
  7. Attend a legislative day. Some advocacy groups have annual legislative days when scores of constituents gather at the State House to visit their legislators. The Arise Legislative Day includes an issue briefing so participants can make their case to legislators persuasively and concisely. There is often time to sit in the gallery and observe the legislative process, which can be illuminating. (Hearing the arguments that some lawmakers make, you may realize you know an issue better than they do!) It may be possible for more people to attend legislative days now since the pandemic has caused us to use both in-person and virtual formats.
  8. Greet your lawmaker in the street. It’s not always necessary to greet your legislator with an issue in your mind. Effective lobbyists know it’s all about relationships.
  9. Engage in advocacy on social media. You can keep up with issues by liking Arise and other advocacy groups on Facebook and following us on Twitter and Instagram. Many legislators also engage with constituents on various social media outlets.
  10. Find natural allies. Good organizing starts with your strengths, so it’s OK to “preach to the choir” – that is, to start with people who already sympathize and build from there. Share information about the issue and the advocacy organization. We need to spread the word about Alabama’s advocacy groups and the best sources of information.
  11. Share issue information with your minister/priest/rabbi, especially if they are not familiar with the organization. They may be looking for examples of root causes of poverty.
  12. Set up an email list so you can share urgent action alerts. Your email program probably has a way to define a group so you can get the alerts out quickly. Listservs are another option.
  13. Invite your legislator to meet with a group. This makes sense if you have a number of people who care about an issue and have done their homework.
  14. Make telephone calls about your event along with written invitations. A mailing or email doesn’t produce the same turnout unless the group is highly committed. A person who is willing to phone people is a prize organizer.
  15. An Arise listening session is a good way to involve new people. Invite an Arise organizer to a meeting of existing and prospective Arise members, either in person or virtually. The opportunity to share thoughts and concerns can be an appealing way to get people fired up and active.
  16. Help people determine who their state representative and senator are. A single congregation in a city can have members from a dozen districts. You can find a person’s district using Arise’s look-up tool at
  17. Brainstorm who else should be involved. Come up with a list of local groups and congregations you know. Introduce them to Arise or other advocacy groups.
  18. Rehearse for your meeting with a legislator. Decide who will make which points, and make them concisely. Try to anticipate your legislator’s concerns and how to respond to them.
  19. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” You have the right and responsibility to participate in our democracy. You don’t have to be an expert … but you should do your homework. And don’t be intimidated: You’re likely to know more about some issues than your legislators!
  20. Tell your story and help find others to tell theirs. Stories help people connect. Personalize the issue – don’t just quote numbers! And help find real-world stories of people affected by the issue. Advocacy groups need people who are willing to tell their stories to reporters and legislators.
  21. Help spread the word about coming events. Be the person who knows about good opportunities and lets other people know. Better yet, each member of your group can volunteer to track an issue so you can cover even more territory.
  22. Bring the food for an event. Relationship-building is an important part of organizing, and cookie bakers are highly valued!
  23. Remember: Furniture matters. A group that is too informal may get down to business if they meet around a table. A task-oriented group that needs to build relationships may need to sit on sofas and chairs in someone’s den. Make sure the room setup is conducive to what you’re trying to do.
  24. Join an email list. Several Alabama advocacy groups can keep you informed by email. Sign up for Arise’s action alerts and Daily News Digest list at al-arise.local.
  25. Recruit an advocacy accountability buddy. Many of us intend to make that phone call or send that email, but we put it off. The idea of the action accountability buddy is that after an action alert comes, you check with each other to confirm that you both have called or written promptly.
  26. Find out if your statewide faith community is in partnership with advocacy groups. Sometimes a local congregation isn’t aware that the bishop is involved, or that the diocese has joined an advocacy effort. Several state leaders are getting their faith communities more involved. Urge yours to get more involved, too!
  27. Launch an effort to get your congregation or group to join Arise and other advocacy groups. Some congregations welcome coffee-hour letter-writing; others will schedule a special program. Ask our staff for advice.
  28. Donate money to advocacy work. Think of it as an investment in a better quality of life for people in Alabama. Your financial support of advocacy work can help leverage multimillion-dollar changes in public policy. Please include Arise and other advocacy groups in your giving mix.
  29. VOTE! Voting is a very important way to make your voice heard. It is your opportunity to choose your elected officials. Find out where candidates stand on the issues that matter to you, and vote your conscience.
  30. Encourage others to vote. Be sure your eligible friends and family are registered and vote as well. This will help them make their voices heard in the policymaking process.

Get involved with the Cover Alabama campaign!

Click here to download a printable PDF of the Cover Alabama flyer.

Help us build a better, healthier Alabama for everyone! Alabama Arise is a proud member of the Cover Alabama Coalition. Cover Alabama is a nonpartisan alliance of more than 110 advocacy groups, businesses, community organizations, consumer groups, health care providers and religious congregations advocating for Alabama to provide quality, affordable health coverage to its residents and implement a sustainable health care system.

Learn more and join the movement today at

The Cover Alabama Coalition is a nonpartisan alliance of more than 110 advocacy groups, businesses, community organizations, consumer groups, health care providers and religious congregations advocating for Alabama to provide quality, affordable health coverage to its residents and implement a sustainable health care system. Expanding Medicaid would mean affordable coverage for more than 340,000 Alabamians with low incomes, 28,500 new jobs in communities across Alabama, access to health care for more than 5,000 uninsured veterans and life-saving care for new mothers. Join us today at

You can help Cover Alabama build support for Medicaid expansion! Here are a few action steps:

Get involved: Help build support for Medicaid expansion! Sign the Cover Alabama petition at Sign on to one of the letters of support and share them with your local elected leaders, businesses, faith communities, veterans and law enforcement at Connect with an Alabama Arise organizer about opportunities to get involved in your community at al-arise.local/events. Share your health care story with us at or email

We still make change: Advocating in Alabama in the time of COVID-19

The voices and needs of people matter. And engaging those voices in the policymaking process is key to building the better, more inclusive Alabama that we envision.

Alabama Arise remains committed to informing and equipping our members to influence policies that affect their lives and communities. As we look toward the Alabama Legislature’s 2021 regular session, we’re prioritizing ways to keep constituent voices at the forefront of the policymaking process.

The legislative session beginning Feb. 2 will be the most constrained in decades due to COVID-19’s impacts. Access to traditional methods of contacting and monitoring legislators in person at the State House, including public hearings and floor debates, will be severely restricted for the general public.

The Alabama Legislature’s 2021 regular session will begin Feb. 2.

In fact, there is considerable uncertainty about how long and exactly which days the Legislature will be in session. While many bills will be introduced, the only constitutional requirement for lawmakers is to pass state budgets.

Lawmakers will meet for three days in each of the first two weeks before pausing until Feb. 23 for further assessment, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said last week. The full Legislature can gather for up to 30 meeting days in 15 calendar weeks.

Because of the session’s uncertain flow and the difficulty of meeting with legislators to discuss issues, we must use every method possible this year to inform and influence our legislators at the local level. Below are some of the key approaches you can take.

Methods of contact to use

Personal letters

Legislators may have significant breaks and limited contact from constituents during the session. An old-fashioned and powerful way to ensure they hear your voice is to write and mail them a letter. Be sure to make your case in your own words. (Information from Arise can help with explaining the issue and your stance.) Letters sent to lawmakers’ personal addresses or district offices are best, but letters to their Montgomery offices are important, too.

Phone calls

Give your local legislators a call on the issues that matter to you. To develop a connection with them, ask them for information and tell them about yourself in addition to asking them to support or oppose particular bills. When you reach out to lawmakers, ask for their preferred contact number. If they give you a cell phone number, ask if you can text them about important matters during the session.


Most legislators have Facebook accounts. You often can use them to message lawmakers directly or provide critical information privately or publicly. Arise organizers are compiling an up-to-date list of Facebook accounts to share with you for your local legislative delegation.


Twitter can be a quick, powerful and public way to contact legislators, even as they debate issues on the floor. Arise organizers are compiling an up-to-date list of Twitter accounts for you to use to contact your local delegation.


Text messages can be the most effective way to contact your legislator quickly at any time. Legislators invariably read text messages on the floor, during the session and at many other times. If you don’t already have a close relationship with the lawmaker, consider limiting your use of this method to critical moments when there isn’t time to use other approaches. Note: It’s important that you call and ask your legislator if you have permission to text them.


Email is sometimes seen as an overused tool, but it remains an important and necessary one. When the session is underway, tons of emails come in to lawmakers. You should email them as well to ensure they hear from people who believe as you do. Emails sent while legislators are not in session have a better chance of getting read and influencing their position.

A few basic tips for speaking with legislators

  • Always be courteous and address lawmakers as “Senator” or “Representative.”
  • Remember to tell them where you live and that you vote in their district.
  • If you are asking them to support a certain position or bill, ask them for a response.
  • If they support your position, be sure to thank them.
  • If they oppose your position, ask them politely to explain why.
  • Share what you hear with Arise. (Find the organizer for your area here.)

Tips for visiting the Alabama State House

Last updated March 11, 2022.

Thank you for advocating for a better Alabama for all! Here are some things you should know if you plan to visit the State House in Montgomery.

General information

The Alabama State House is located at 11 South Union Street, Montgomery, AL 36130. For House information, call 334-261-0500. For Senate information, call 334-261-0800.

Everyone must go through the front door of the State House and through the metal detector. Your personal belongings, such as a purse, wallet, cell phone, coins and anything metal, must be placed on the conveyor belt and X-rayed. Objects that are not allowed, such as knives, nail clippers, pepper spray, etc., will be confiscated. Masks are recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic, and temperature checks are being done as visitors enter.

Tips for visiting House members

The House of Representatives is on the 5th floor. Individual members’ offices are on the 4th and 5th floors. You may go by their office and leave notes or information. They may be on the House floor, and office doors may be locked. You can push information under their doors or tape it to their doors. Masks are required on this floor.

You can write a note to your representative if he or she is on the House floor. The note should be brief. Say you are with Alabama Arise, give your name and town, and ask that they come out and speak with you. Give the note to a page (young volunteer) at the front desk located on the 5th floor. You may be allowed to stay on the 5th floor behind the ropes or be asked to wait on the 6th floor.

The House Gallery is on the 6th floor, and you are welcome to go there to watch the proceedings. There is also a big lobby outside the gallery where legislators may come meet with you if you sent them a note. Masks are required on this floor.

Tips for visiting Senate members

The Senate Chamber and the senators’ offices are on the 7th floor. Please be mindful not to block the halls if you go to the offices. If your senator is not in the office, you may leave a note and information with the secretary.

If your senator is on the Senate floor, you may write a note asking him or her to come out and speak to you. Give the note to a page at the end of the lobby near the entrance to the chamber. Wait behind the roped-off walkway, and if possible, your senator will come out.

To observe the Senate, you must go to the 8th floor either by the steps or by a small elevator at the left side of the Senate lobby. Use the steps if possible.

Enjoy your visit, and thank you for advocating for a better Alabama for all!

How you can support Alabama Arise from an IRA or 401(k)

Updated Feb. 23, 2022

Alabama Arise members are generous, caring and resourceful people. That’s why I want to highlight a powerful giving opportunity for members who are at least 70½ years of age and drawing income from a tax-deferred savings account such as a traditional IRA, 401(k), 403(k), 403(b) or Thrift Savings Plan.

Whether you itemize or take the standard deduction, up to $100,000 of your required minimum distribution (RMD) can be tax-free when you give to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization like Arise through a qualified charitable distribution (QCD).

The check should be payable to Alabama Arise. You can ask your account custodian to mail it directly to us. Or if you prefer, you can have the check sent to you and then mail it yourself. Our address is Alabama Arise, P.O. Box 1188, Montgomery, AL 36101.

If you ask the custodian to send the check directly, call 334-832-9060 or email development associate McKenzie Burton at to notify us. That way we’ll know who to thank for the gift!

To ensure the tax benefit, apply for the QCD before you take your full RMD for the year. You’ll need our Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is 63-1186365.

We’re grateful for your support of our advocacy for better public policies. Together, we’re making life better for families across Alabama.

How to get involved in Alabama’s legislative process

Most people recognize the vital role that voting plays in a democracy – even if they don’t vote. But fewer understand the citizen’s role in lawmaking. Using your power as a constituent to influence legislators is called lobbying.

Alabama Arise promotes its interest – the well-being of Alabamians with low and moderate incomes – not by “wining and dining” lawmakers but by presenting well-researched policy analysis and lifting up the strong voices of Arise members who live in their districts. We hope you can use the information in this fact sheet to sharpen your skills as a citizen lobbyist.

How the legislative process works

Alabamians elect their state officers (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, etc.) and members of the Legislature every four years. These elections occur during the even-numbered years that don’t feature a presidential election. The Legislature’s four-year cycle is called a quadrennium.

The Alabama Legislature has two chambers:

  • The Senate has 35 members (senators) from the 35 Senate districts. The presiding officer is the Lieutenant Governor. In his or her absence, the role is filled by the President Pro Tempore (president “for a time”) – called President Pro Tem for short – who is elected from the Senate by its members at the start of the quadrennium.
  • The House of Representatives has 105 members (representatives) from the 105 House districts. The presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected from the chamber by its members at the start of each quadrennium. The Speaker Pro Tem presides in the Speaker’s absence.

Regular sessions and special sessions

The annual period when the Legislature meets is called the regular session.

  • The regular session begins on the first Tuesday in March in the first year of a quadrennium. In the second and third years, it begins on the first Tuesday in February. And in the fourth and final year, it begins on the first Tuesday in January.
  • The Legislature meets, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for a maximum of 30 meeting days within a period of 105 calendar days. Committees most often meet on Wednesdays.
  • The Governor may call a special session, indicating in a written “call” the subjects to be considered. No legislation on other subjects may be enacted during a special session without a two-thirds vote in both houses. A special session may last for up to 12 meeting days within a 30-day calendar span.

The Legislature’s main work is passing laws. Around 3,000 bills and resolutions are introduced each year. Some 40% of these are purely local in nature. About 180 to 200 general bills pass each year. Of these, only a small share affect the entire state. It often takes four years or more to pass a bill on a new subject.

How a bill becomes a law in Alabama

The process of proposing and passing laws is similar in the House and the Senate. Every new law must pass in both chambers.

  • A member of either chamber introduces a bill, which is a proposed new law. Sometimes members introduce identical bills in both chambers at the same time.
  • The bill gets a first reading (usually by title only) and is referred to a committee by the presiding officer.
  • The committee considers the bill – in a public hearing, if the committee chairman receives a written request for one. A bill that wins committee approval is “reported out” to the full chamber in a second reading (usually by number only) and placed on the General Calendar for the next meeting day.
  • On the next meeting day, the bill becomes eligible for its third reading and debate. The volume of bills, however, prevents most from being considered The Rules Committee places high-priority bills on the Special Order Calendar.
  • The bill gets its third reading (by number only unless a member requests a full reading, usually as a delaying tactic) when its number comes up in the assigned sequence on the Special Order Calendar or General Calendar. Debate in the full chamber begins at this time. When debate ends, the members vote on the bill.
  • After the bill passes one chamber, it goes to the other chamber and repeats the process.
  • Once a bill passes both chambers, it goes to the Governor to be signed (approved) or vetoed (rejected).
  • If vetoed, it goes back to the Legislature, where a simple majority vote can override (reverse) the veto.
  • If the Governor signs the bill or the Legislature overrides a veto, the bill becomes an act, or law.

How you can influence the process

Before a bill is introduced:

  • Stay informed about issues that are important to your group or community.
  • Work with organizations that research issues and recommend policy changes.
  • Talk to your legislators about introducing bills on issues important to your group or community.
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper concerning issues that are important to your group or community.

When a bill is in committee:

  • Contact committee members and ask them to support, reject or amend the bill – especially if your legislator serves on the committee.
  • Ask others to contact committee members.
  • Find out about and attend public hearings.
  • Testify for or against the bill. Arise lines up people to show a range of support or opposition.

When the bill is being debated on the floor:

  • Ask your legislators to support, reject or amend it.
  • Ask family and friends to contact their legislators and request that they support, reject or amend the bill.

When a bill awaits the Governor’s signature:

  • Call or write, urging the Governor to sign or veto.
  • Ask family and friends to contact the Governor.

Make your influence more effective

Plan your call. Before contacting your legislators by phone, prepare an informal “script”:

  • 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 Alabama Arise and that our members are interested in the issue. (To the legislator, this means voters!)
  • Refer to a specific piece of pending legislation, if there is one, including the bill number.
  • Make it personal. Tell a brief story or say why the issue matters to you.
  • Ask them to vote for the bill and where. (Mentioning a particular committee or floor vote suggests you may even be there to watch!)
  • Thank them in advance.

Try for direct contact

Legislators like to talk to voters. You can look up your lawmakers here, or get their contact information by calling 334-242-7600 (House) or 334-242-7800 (Senate). If you get a legislator’s secretary or answering machine, that’s OK! Your message still will get through. In this case, though, you must be even briefer: Leave out the story. No matter what kind of response you get, remain courteous. Anger doesn’t persuade.

Enlist other people to call with a similar message. Legislators know every phone call is the “tip of an iceberg.” For every person who takes the time to call, there are many others who share the caller’s concerns. Think of the number of voters you will represent if 10 or 20 people – or 50 or 100 – call on the same issue.

Take time to write a letter or email. Legislators do read their mail! Most legislators use email, and many are active on Facebook or Twitter as well. Keep your email subject line is simple and informative so it won’t resemble junk mail. You can write any legislator here: Alabama State House, Montgomery, AL 36130. Remember these tips:

  • 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.
  • Put letter-writing on your group’s agenda. Keep paper, envelopes, pens, stamps and addresses handy.

As long as you’re writing, remember your local newspaper. A letter to the editor will put your issue in the minds of many people. Some may be inspired to write their own letters, supporting your points. Legislators regularly read opinions sections to find out what their constituents are thinking.

Get to know your legislators personally

Make your voice more “real” with a face and a handshake:

  • Arrange a time to introduce your group as active constituents. Don’t wait until you have an issue to press.
  • Make a point to speak to them whenever you see them in public – at ballgames, the grocery store, etc.
  • Attend events where they are speaking.
  • Wear a name tag to every meeting.
  • Always tell them your name clearly and add a quick memory tag – for example, “My daughter goes to your child’s school,” or “I enjoyed your speech at the Kiwanis Club last Thursday.”
  • Invite them to your meeting – but remember how busy they are during the legislative session!
  • Help your group arrange a legislative reception.
  • Visit the State House during the legislative session.
  • Praise them when they deserve it, and respectfully express disapproval when they don’t.

For more information

Click here for an extensive, easy-to-use guide prepared by the Secretary of State. And please contact Alabama Arise at 334-832-9060 or to learn more about speaking out and being heard on policies to make life better for Alabamians of all races, genders and incomes.

2020 Alabama Arise issue priorities brochure

Alabama Arise members have chosen the following issues as policy priorities for 2020. The first two are permanent priorities. The remaining five reflect this year’s member voting. The Arise board also may approve action on other emerging issues during the year. To view our full 2020 issue priorities brochure, click here or click the Download button above.

Alabama Arise member Lawton Higgs speaks with Gabrielle Daniels of the Equal Justice Initiative during Arise's 2019 annual meeting in Montgomery.
Alabama Arise is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of congregations, organizations and individuals. Arise educates the public on how state and federal policies affect Alabamians living in or near poverty. Contributions to Alabama Arise are tax-deductible.

Adequate state budgets

Everyone deserves a chance to get ahead in life, and public investments in education, health care and child care help people do just that. Adequate state funding for Medicaid and other services is vital to remove barriers to opportunity for struggling Alabamians. Arise will make the case for Medicaid expansion and other public investments and oppose harmful cuts to vital services.

Tax reform

It’s hard for Alabamians with low incomes to make ends meet when they’re taxed deeper into poverty. These families pay twice as big a share of their incomes in state and local taxes as top earners do. And Alabama is one of three states with no tax break on groceries. Arise will seek to untax groceries and rebalance our upside-down tax system.

Criminal justice debt reform

High cash bail, court fees and fines take a heavy toll on many families in poverty. And civil asset forfeiture allows police to seize property from people who have not been convicted of a crime – or even charged. Arise will support policies to prevent abuses of civil asset forfeiture and reduce the burden that court fees and fines place on Alabamians with low incomes.

Death penalty reform

Capital punishment is literally a life-or-death issue. Arise will support several reforms of Alabama’s death penalty process, including more indigent defense funding, a moratorium on executions, and laws to bring the state in line with federal rulings regarding juveniles and people with intellectual disabilities. Arise will urge greater transparency and reforms to Alabama’s death penalty laws.

Payday/title lending reform

When low wages fail to cover the cost of  living, many desperate borrowers turn to  payday or auto title loans. But with Alabama law allowing annual percentage rates of up to 456% for payday loans and 300% for title loans, these loans leave far too many families and communities trapped in deep debt. Arise will pursue tighter state and federal regulations on payday and title lending and other high-cost loans in Alabama.

Public transportation

Alabama provides no state funding for public transportation, and its shortage of transit  options keeps many people from meeting basic needs. State investment in public transit would create jobs and increase mobility and opportunity for many seniors, people with disabilities, and people who can’t afford cars. Arise will seek dedicated state revenue for the Public Transportation Trust Fund, as well as legislation to allow Alabamians to make voluntary contributions to the fund through their tax refunds.

Voting rights

Voting is the most fundamental way people can make their voices heard in the democratic process. Alabama could expand participation by streamlining voting rights restoration for people disenfranchised after a conviction. The state also could follow Georgia’s lead by automatically registering eligible people to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or interact in other ways with public agencies. Arise will back efforts to remove barriers to voting rights restoration and to adopt automatic universal voter registration.


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 meet them in person. Arise’s Legislative Days are great, but it’s even better to contact lawmakers in their home districts. Find contact information by calling 334-261-0500 (House) or 334-261-0800 (Senate) or by visiting

  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 and indicate you are a registered voter in that district.
    • 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 Alabama 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 to the lawmaker.
  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, 11 South Union Street, Montgomery, AL 36130. Remember:
    • Use your own words. Form letters are easy to recognize and are 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 individual 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.

2019 Alabama Arise issue priorities brochure

Arise members have chosen the following issues as policy priorities for 2019. The first two are permanent priorities. The remaining five reflect this year’s member voting. The Arise board also may approve action on other emerging issues during the year.

  • Adequate state budgets
  • Tax reform
  • Public transportation
  • Payday/title lending reform
  • Automatic universal voter registration
  • Criminal justice debt reform
  • Death penalty reform