Best Way to Contact Your Government Representatives

Best Way to Contact Your Government Representatives

This is a discussion on Best Way to Contact Your Government Representatives within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I read some varying thoughts on the best way to get your message to your state and federal leaders, so I thought I'd pul up ...

View Poll Results: Best Way to Contact Your Representatives

Voters
26. You may not vote on this poll
  • Mail a Letter

    3 11.54%
  • Fax a Letter

    3 11.54%
  • e-mail a Letter

    4 15.38%
  • Phone Call

    2 7.69%
  • Combination of several methods

    14 53.85%
Results 1 to 12 of 12
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  • 1 Post By ANGLICO
  • 1 Post By miller_man
  • 1 Post By TX expat
  • 2 Post By Echo_Four
  • 1 Post By DandLfam

Thread: Best Way to Contact Your Government Representatives

  1. #1
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    Best Way to Contact Your Government Representatives

    I read some varying thoughts on the best way to get your message to your state and federal leaders, so I thought I'd pul up a poll and give everyone a chance to see what everyone else thinks on the subject.

    Feel free to respond with the "why" that backs up your choice.
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  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    To get any meaningful data you would have to poll the representatives themselves, or better yet, their staffs.

    Having said that, the best way is by handwritten letter followed up by a phone call. This shows a solid conviction of beliefs and a willingness to take the extra time and trouble to do it the hard way, which translates into someone who is likely to make a similar effort to influence his peers on the subject matter.

    A quick email, while better than nothing, indicates a shallower investment of time and effort; something that may have been done on a whim, or motivated solely by another.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    To get any meaningful data you would have to poll the representatives themselves, or better yet, their staffs.
    Yeah, you are correct in that sense. I'm just looking for an idea on what most of us are using for communication.
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  4. #4
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    If you are doing more than one, let us know what you are doing. Personally I've emailed everyone up to this point, but I'm thinking that I really should follow up with either a fax or mailed letter to every rep that sends me a canned reply.
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    When you are contacting them, they are hiding behind selveral layers of Staffers who filter everything. If you make several contacts, through several messages, you might get past the Staffers who control the info flow to the Rep.

    Also, a hand written letter, or FAX of that same hand written letter seems to be the best method for being paid attention to. This is because you bought and spent a stamp, or know how to use a FAX. Email is the most ignored. Anyone can pound out an email and send it.
    Doghandler likes this.
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    We have been using the phone.

  7. #7
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    I have sent two emails to all my representatives, but I do know they are easiest and probably most ignored. I will be writting a letter and faxing it to them soon. I should prob call too. Actually, I'm now upsetting myself by being so half hearted about calling, Now it's a priority, I will call.

    As you can see, I definitely think using several methods of contact is best.
    TX expat likes this.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBuckwheat View Post
    We have been using the phone.
    This can be effective in mass. But, having to deal with 'Physical Paper = a permenant record" is what Staffers will fear the most. Expecially if there is an investigation or FOIA request later.

    As for email, consider that the EPA Chief is resigning over the use of fake accounts to get around FOIA requests........................ right now.

    Although, it seems the media loves to report when the Capitol Hill Phone System is shut down by so many people calling to complain at the same time. The previous Health Care debate is of note on this. So yes, the phone method can send a message, but when in mass!
    Socialism Kills! Time proven, with a very large body count! We are a Constitutional Republic....... not a Democracy, get it correct!

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by miller_man View Post
    I have sent two emails to all my representatives, but I do know they are easiest and probably most ignored. I will be writting a letter and faxing it to them soon. I should prob call too. Actually, I'm now upsetting myself by being so half hearted about calling, Now it's a priority, I will call.

    As you can see, I definitely think using several methods of contact is best.
    You are where I am! I wrote all these emails and it's been bugging me that I really shouldn't settle for just doing that. I think I'm going to fax a letter to all of them. Even my most local state rep that obviously wrote a reply himself (on a Saturday, no less) without any 'staff' help.

    I think I may just send out another letter once all this gun control legislation officially kicks off too; just in case they think I may have changed my mind!
    miller_man likes this.
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    Re: Best Way to Contact Your Government Representatives

    The best way to contact your reps is with a hand shake and a bag full of money in your other hand.

    Barring that tongue in cheek technique, I just use NRA guided form emails supplied by IowaCarry.org. The logic is to force them to take note just by the sheer numbers of emails. Hey, it's the 21st Century. Who has time to pen a letter? .

    The best way to make them listen? Write a book that gets you on BookTV and a seat at the table with Charlie Rose.

    ...
    Of all the absurd things I have ever written I like this one the most.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    To get any meaningful data you would have to poll the representatives themselves, or better yet, their staffs.
    A sample of one is a pretty sorry poll, but I did spend time on a Member of Congress's staff several years ago so I do have a little to add that may help.

    Quote Originally Posted by ANGLICO View Post
    If you make several contacts, through several messages, you might get past the Staffers who control the info flow to the Rep.
    Not a chance. The repeated contacts won't have any better chance of getting through than the first and the staffer will have no clue that you've contacted them before.

    Now, a quick view on how the staff members will handle this, or any other hot button issue.

    Once an issue is identified that is going to generate several inquiries a standard canned response is written. If it is really big there may be multiple responses that all say the same thing using different verbiage so that it is less likely that you and your friend receive the same canned reply. Then any staff member that handles correspondence from the public starts a tally sheet. For every email, letter, phone call, fax, carrier pigeon, smoke signal, or telegram that the office receives a tally is marked in the yea or nay column and a canned response is sent via the most appropriate method. (I am sure things have changed but when I left postal mail was the worst method. Due to extra screening that the mail was receiving due to anthrax scares we often wouldn't get letters until well after a vote.) I recommend phone calls because there's always an outside possibility that the lawmaker won't have anything on the schedule and has told staff to route him calls about some issues. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen from time to time. Outside of that about your only chance of getting through is making an in person visit or holding a position that people recognize as important enough to reach the lawmaker. For example when the chairman of the state party sent an email it was delivered to the lawmaker, when the head of a union sent a letter it was given to the man in the big chair. If the head of a large PAC or interest group called the Congressman would be advised. Other than that it is just a numbers game for most members.

    Of course, different members had different rules. I knew of a couple that told staff members to ignore and trash any correspondence that threatened to make sure he lost his job in the next election or made threats to contribute to someone else based on the vote. If a representative from an interest group that opposed the congressman's view contacted us the message would simply be that Joe Blow from XXX PAC called and nothing more. In this case we would tell him if Dan Gross from the Brady Campaign contacted us, but that would be it. If Chris Cox from the NRA called we would assure him that the member was still on board. If he wanted to meet we would send him to the scheduler who would get him in pretty quick since it is such a big issue.

    All of this said, there is real value in contacting your representatives. On this issue the member I voted for would not be swayed. But some things are less important to the person and they're very interested in what you have to say. If my member was planning on voting to hold the AG in contempt but saw that 60% of the people writing were opposed he would probably change his vote on that issue (unless the caucus was whipping hard for votes, then all bets are off).

    I only know how one office worked and have an idea about others from talking to other staffers. Your member may work totally different, but that's how I assume my guy works now that I live in a different state and have a different member of Congress. For what it is worth I've sent 2 letters to my House Rep and each Senator as well as a phone call to each and an email to each.
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  12. #12
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    Local rep finally got back to me today, I'd say a win...... i think??

    My letter:
    Mr. Wachtmann, I am e-mailing you my personal opinion on our president's speech/memorial service comments last night (12/16). I feel strongly that it was more of a speech as opposed to a memorial service for those who lost their lives but that is neither is here nor there.

    I personally do not feel banning "assault weapons" (guns that appear more deadly) will stop the crimes committed. Just because a gun looks a certain way does not make it more deadly, it's the person using the firearm.

    Banning assault weapons will not stop the bad guys from committing crimes; it will however make the citizens, the good law-abiding ones less protected. It will only encourage our bad guys to find more ways of human destruction. Just because an item, or drug, or gun, or whatever it may be is illegal, does not stop the use or sale or murder. It detours ONLY the law-abiding ones but does not detour our criminals in this society.

    Being a society that is more informed, more trained with weapons, less restricted in certain establishments; those are the things we need, not more restrictions. Having “gun-free” zones only tell the bad guys, “Hey, the citizens of this establishment don’t have guns”. Michigan just passed a GREAT law, allowing CCW/CPL holders with extended training to carry in the “gun-free” zones.

    Mr. Lynn Wachtmann, I ask that you stand up for what our Founding Father’s built this country upon. I encourage you to fight for gun rights, less control on citizens who have extensive training and are certified, like myself, and more checks on those buying firearms. Make it harder to obtain, do not completely ban.

    "An armed society is a polite society" – Robert Heinlein

    Thank you.
    Derrick J. Beck

    Response:
    Derrick,

    Thank you for your email. I always enjoy hearing from my constituents and I truly appreciate the time you have taken to express your views and bring them to my attention.

    As you may know, I have always been a firm supporter of our Second Amendment right to bear arms and I will continue to uphold and defend this right.

    Again, thank you for the email and please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of further assistance.

    Sincerely,

    Lynn Wachtmann
    TX expat likes this.
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