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Communicating with Your Legislator

An effective way to communicate your concerns with your legislator is by writing a letter. Phone calls are the quickest method of communication, but unless your legislator is available to speak with you, your concerns will be relayed to him or her through a staff member. In this way, neither your message nor your personal touch reaches your legislator directly.

Writing a letter is simple and is, in fact, the most popular method of reaching a member of Congress. When drafting a letter, please bear in mind these few basic suggestions:

Be Direct: State the purpose of writing your legislator in the first paragraph of the letter.

Be Accurate:  If your letter concerns a specific piece of legislation, identify it as such, e.g., House bill:  H.R. (number), Senate bill:  S. (number). The Library of Congress provides a website that will assist you in researching a House or Senate bill number. Please visit the Library of Congress at http://thomas.loc.gov/.

Be Concise: Keep the letter to one page, if possible.

Be Efficient: E-mailing or faxing your letter, as opposed to mailing it, is highly recommended. Mail typically takes four to six weeks to reach your legislator's desk. Legislators' fax numbers, e-mail addresses (if available) and other write your legislator tools can be obtained by using the Your Elected Officials page on this website.

Addressing your Letters:
You can direct postal correspondence to your Senator as follows:

The Honorable (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator (Name)

You can direct postal correspondence to your Representative as follows:

The Honorable (Name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative (Name)

Lobbying in Wisconsin