One of the simplest and most effective ways of communicating your views is to call your member of Congress. You can call your their Washington, DC office, or one of their offices near you.
HOW TO CALL
- Locate your Member of Congress here.
- State your name and address. Many Congressional offices will only take information from people in their state or district, so make sure that they know you’re a constituent.
- Clearly and concisely describe the issue you are calling about. It is usually best to keep your call to one issue at a time, though some offices may encourage you to share any concerns that you have.
- It can help to prepare for what you want to say ahead of time. Feel free to use the ASCB call script or jot notes about the issue.
- Know your topic! If you are calling about a bill, it is best to know the bill number (i.e. H.R. 688) or name (i.e. Arapoho National Forest Boundary Adjustment Act). Clearly state if you are for or against the issue.
- Understand that you will likely talk to an intern, staff assistant, or legislative assistant when you call. Senators and Representatives rarely answer the phone, but their staff is still very willing to assist.
- Be courteous and respectful. Staff often deal with frustrated or angry constituents and may not listen to your comments if you are rude or aggressive.
- There is power in numbers. If you feel strongly about an issue, encourage colleagues, friends, and family to call about it as well. Congressional offices take note of issues that constituents frequently call or write about.
Hello, my name is (name) and I’m a constituent of Representative/Senator (their name). I live at (your address). I am calling today about (state the issue/bill/etc.). As a (scientist/researcher/investigator/etc.), I am deeply (in support/against) this issue because (state how this issue affects you). I hope that (Member of Congress) keeps this in mind. Thank you for your time.
Hello, my name is Doctor Jane Doe and I live in Representative Smith’s district. I live at 42 Wallaby Way, Fake, NY, 12345. I am calling today about H.R. 2709, which seeks to increase the participation of historically underrepresented demographic groups in STEM education and industry. As a biomedical researcher, I want to let Representative Smith know that I expect him to vote yes on H.R. 2709. I hope he keeps my concerns in mind. Thank you for your time.
The ASCB has other “Be an Advocate for Science” how-to papers to help you be an advocate for science.