Become Politically Active by Reaching Out to Your Elected Officials

Become Politically Active by Reaching Out to Your Elected Officials

( – One of the best ways to have a hand in shaping policy in your area, whether you lean left or right, is to become active in politics locally. Some decide the best course of action is to actually run for a local office and enact change from within. However, even if you feel this route isn’t for you, you can still find many other ways to ensure elected leaders will hear your voice.

The key to having a leg up in politics is to know your local leaders, including the mayor, local legislators, and those who represent your district in the state and US House and Senate. If you’re unsure who your local politicians are, it’s easy to find out. Simply enter your zip code at the House website to find your representative. You can also enter your address on the website to see a list of your elected officials.

Once you have this information, you can call the local offices. But how do you get them to listen to you? First, you want to ensure you have all your talking points listed. Don’t call blindly. Instead, know the most pressing issues and how to broach them with your elected official. While many people use email or Twitter to reach a local leader, you might have better results trying something different and more personal. Instead, call them if you can. If they’re not available to speak with you when you call, ask their staff if you can request a callback or make an appointment when you can. This way, you’ll speak directly with an official rather than just with a staff member or having your message go unseen.

It’s vital that your representatives, whether local, state, or national, know the issues that matter most to you. If they don’t align with your views, you have two choices. You can argue your points with them — diplomatically, of course — or you can make your voice heard at the next election and vote for someone who does.

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