This page provides links to legislators and tips on how to shape your message to be effective.
Where Does Your Legislator Stand?
Before you contact your legislator it is always a good idea to know where they stand on the issue you are interested in. In addition to information they may have on their own website, we suggest checking how they have voted on similar issues so you know whether to praise them for their support or express your disagreement with their stance. Find out your elected officials' environmental voting record at the League of Conservation Voters' site.
U.S. House of Representatives
The U.S. House of Representatives web site has an excellent page that will use your zip code to look up your representative and link you to their email and web site.
The U.S. Senate web site as a "connect with your senators" option that will connect you with your senator's web site and email.
State Legislature web sites
Northwest Governors' web sites
The White House
The White House contact page has links to the President and Vice President, along with their spouses.
Helpful Tips for Getting Your Message Heard
These tips are adapted from the ONE/Northwest website at www.onenw.org.
Tell the legislator who you are.
Make it clear that you are a constituent (in their state or district), and that you vote. This matters to someone who may be seeking re-election.
Be brief and to-the-point.
Focus your message, make it clear what you want the recipient to do, and make it known early in the email. Try to keep your email to one or two screens (maximum).
In preparation for sending your email, learn the bill number, its current status and timeline, who sponsored the bill and who supports it. Mention these facts in your message.
Make your message personal.
You'll make more impact by talking about your concerns and your feelings, and the impact an environmental issue may have on your community or yourself.
An environmental issue may anger you, but an abusive message rarely has an impact. Don't temper your strong feelings, but remember that you are writing to have an impact, not just to get something off your chest. Use your passion constructively.
Be generous with praise if it is due.
If your representative did something you like (especially something you asked them to do), send them a thank you message for a job well done. Above all else, support "friends" of the environment. In the current political climate, elected officials who support environmental protection need to know their efforts are appreciated.
Include your physical mailing address at the end of the letter.
Due to the way most congressional offices are set up, it is highly likely they will respond to your email message with a letter. (Note: Many congressional offices use an automatic response to all incoming messages, so you can expect to receive an often generic form message back immediately from most of the addresses to which you send a message).
Follow your email message with a letter or phone call.
Again, email is not the most effective way to make your views known. It is crucial to use other avenues of communication as well.