Public Transportation

Calling Public Officials

Lobbying Tip:
Analyze the Responses

An analysis of responses from government officials allows you to learn who your supporters and opponents are. It can also help:

  • Determine weak points in your arguments;
  • Decide what kind of adjustments need to be made in messages and in the campaign (based on officials’ criticisms or misunderstanding);
  • Detect whether your opponents have been active, as evidenced by the appearance of the same objections or statistics in a number of negative responses (suggesting the opposition is distributing information); and
  • Focus your next round of targets and, if necessary, rebuttals of erroneous information.

Telephone calls are also a convenient way to communicate your messages to government officials, including Members of Congress. In most cases, unless the official knows you personally, you will probably be unable to speak with him or her directly. Instead, you will more than likely be referred to the staff member responsible for public transportation issues. Keep your message brief and to the point, and don’t forget to personalize your story.

Following this helpful format when calling a local, state or federal official’s office:

  • Keep your call brief and to the point.
  • Identify yourself as a constituent and the issue about which you are calling.
  • Express your opinion and the reasons you feel the way you do.
  • Be specific about what you wish the official to do.
  • Be courteous and understanding of reasonable differences of opinion.
  • If you would like a reply, request a written response and provide your name and address.
  • Follow up your telephone call with a letter that reiterates your message and explains the issue in more detail.

All U.S. Senators and Representatives can be reached through the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

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