If you follow World Vision advocacy you have likely heard us say, as few as ten phone calls to an office on an issue in a day are enough to bring an issue to the attention of a member of Congress. We say it a lot…because it is true. Not only does someone in the office write down every phone call and what it is about, oftentimes office staffers report that throughout the day, members of Congress come out and ask about calls that the office has been receiving.
While a phone call may seem intimidating, there are some upsides –
- Phone calls are very effective.
- A phone call can be quick, often taking less than one minute from dialing to hanging up.
- You can read off of a script.
- If you really do not want to talk to someone, call in the evening – you can leave a voicemail and it will be counted the same.
When you call, you can follow a script that can be short and simple. Here is one you may use if you are concerned about cuts to foreign assistance –
Hello, my name is ________ and I am a constituent from ___________ . I am calling to ask the senator/representative to reject any cuts to foreign assistance. Thank you.
Here are a few things to remember –
- Be polite. Staffers speak to hundreds of people a day, many who are angry, and many who are rude. Your kindness will be appreciated.
- If you would like, you can always ask for follow-up.
- You can also call to say thank you. If you heard your member of Congress say something that you appreciated, or take a position that you are in favor of, a quick call to say thank you lets him or her know they have your support.
Are you ready to pick up the phone? On our Use Your Voice page, select the ‘call’ tab at the top. Enter your information and you will be given the phone numbers of who represents you and you will see talking points to guide you. The more you do it, the easier it gets!
If you would like to start with a pre written phone script, here are some topics to start with –
As our Talking to Congress series continues we will look at more ways to reach out, including social media, meeting with your members of Congress, and leveraging your local newspaper. If you have any specific questions or things you would like us to cover, leave a comment below!
Photo: In India, this phone is used to empower a girl with disabilities. ©2014 World Vision/photo by Daniel Mung