Sending a Message: Take these steps to contact elected officials

Have you ever felt so strongly about a topic that you wanted to make a change? Well, while none of us are in political positions of power, we have the right and opportunity to contact our representatives and tell them about our concerns. No matter what side of the issue you’re on, it only takes about two minutes to get through to your representative or senator in the Iowa legislature. Whether you like a file in the senate or disagree with a bill that has been passed to the house, you can make your voice as a concerned constituent heard.

First of all, you need to know who your senator is. At the state level, we have Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst as our senators and Rod Blum as our representative.  These are the people you should contact if you have a problem with something going on in Washington, D.C. For example, if you have an opinion on the confirmation of one of Trump’s cabinet nominees, these are the people you would call to persuade them to vote no or yes when it comes time for confirmation of a cabinet member.

At grassley.senate.gov/contact, you can find Grassley’s Des Moines office address, his D.C. office address and addresses of his regional offices here in Iowa, if you wish to send a letter. All of his offices also have a phone number, so you can call any of those to make your voice heard. As for Ernst, you can find her office locations at ernst.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/office-locations if you’d like to send a letter. To reach her by phone, you can call any of those offices as well to leave a message. For both senators, you will probably end up reaching a representative, as they often spend most of their time in D.C. And when they’re not in D.C., they’re traveling to town halls and meeting with constituents.

So who do you call to change things on the state level? Well, that’s when it’s time to find your senator and your representative. This is determined by what county you live in. At legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find, you can find your senator, and then also your representatives. These are the people you would call if you have a problem or you support something that is happening and only affecting the state. Once you find your legislators, you can click on their name, and it will take you to a page where you can see ways to contact them. You can email,  call, write a letter or fax. 

So, what if you don’t know anything about issues going on at the state level, but you want to? You can go to legis.iowa.gov/chambers and see the agenda for both the house and senate, listen or watch either chamber, and also look up files. Then, once you find a file you’re passionate about, you can call your representatives.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what to say. I’ve written up some example scripts for you. Whether you oppose or support an issue, it’s important you share your thoughts with your reps.

Example Script #1: 

Opposing a file

Hello, may I speak to Sen./Rep. ______?

Hi, my name is ________, and I’m a concerned constituent calling from (Cedar Falls/Waterloo/Waverly). I wanted to call and urge you to oppose (Senate/House File #). This file would affect the lives of those around me, and I am concerned about how it will negatively affect my community. Thank you so much for your time, I hope you vote no.

Example Script #2: 

Supporting a file

Hello, may I speak to Sen./Rep. ______?

Hi, my name is ________, and I’m a constituent calling from (Cedar Falls/Waterloo/Waverly). I wanted to call and urge you to support (Senate/House File #). This file would greatly assist the people around me, and I feel it is a good opportunity for the state of Iowa. Thank you so much for your time, I hope you vote yes.

So what are you waiting for? There’s no better day than today. Call your legislators and make your voice heard. It may seem so frivolous, but calls do make a difference. Please call and add your voice to the system.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply