Tips for Reaching Out to Your Elected Officials

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Legislative advocacy is about speaking up for another or championing a cause in order to change public policy. We can do this by voicing our concerns to our legislators — writing letters, making phone calls and/or speaking in front of committees. When reaching out, follow these guidelines to make your efforts more effective.

If you would like to speak for or on behalf of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), please first contact CHOP Government Affairs staff.

When contacting legislators or their staff members by phone:

  • Identify yourself by name and home address.
  • Identify the bill or topic you wish to talk about, by name and number if possible.
  • Briefly state your position and how you wish your legislator to vote.
  • Ask for your legislator’s stance on the bill or issue and ask for a commitment to vote for your position.
  • If your legislator needs additional information, gather supporting facts and get the details to them as soon as possible.

When contacting a legislator by letter, fax or email:

  • State your position clearly in the first paragraph by asking your legislator to do something specific, such as sponsoring a bill or voting for or against a measure.
  • Personalize your communication by explaining, as clearly and passionately as you can, why this matters to you.
  • Write briefly and refer to bills by name and number.
  • Sign your letter with your name, home address and phone number so that your legislator knows whether you are a constituent and can contact you.
  • Remember to send a thank-you note if they’ve voted for legislation that supports children.
  • When addressing a U.S. senator or representative or a state senator, representative or governor, feel free to use the term “The Honorable Mary/John Doe” or simply “Dear Senator Doe, Representative Doe or Governor Doe.”