Updated: May 27
I’ve made posts in the past about helpful letter writing tips for writing to your government and businesses and even made a video outlining some examples of letters I wrote and responses I got. But, it didn’t occur to me until recently that I have never actually shown you all how to find your senators and congressmen. Sorry, guys!
I am here now with a full guide on how to find your lawmakers in order to write letters to them.
But first, let’s talk about why we need to be writing letters to our government and businesses as well.
First, we pay them. What, Emma, how? Anyone who works for the government gets paid by our tax dollars. Not to mention, we elected them (maybe not individually, but as a body). They are in office to serve us. Do they act like it, not always, but that is the job of our government, to serve us as best as they can in the interest of the people. In order for them to serve in best interest of us, the constituents, we need to tell them what we want from them. Whether it’s stopping a pipeline, public transportation, gender equality, or whatever other issue is near and dear to your heart, they need to know what we want.
We also need to be writing to the businesses we frequent. Again, they don’t know what we want unless we tell them upfront. Sure, we can boycott wasteful companies, but we should also tell them why we are boycotting them in the hopes they actually change. Take Native deodorant for example, they used to be packaged only in plastic. But, enough eco-minded consumers wrote in and eventually Native changed their deodorant design to be completely plastic free! That is the power of our voices especially when multiplied.
Okay, you know why writing is important, and you have an idea of what you want to say…
How do you find your policymakers?
This link here takes you to a directory of senators. You can filter based on state or by senator if you already know their name. Their profile will pop up with a phone number but if you’re introverted, like me, click on their name to be sent to their personal website. From here, they should have a “contact us” button somewhere on their site (if not, contact them to tell them to add one!). This should allow you to send an email instead of calling them. If you want to skip that link altogether, you can by using this link instead which is a current (as of 21 April 2022) directory of the entire 117th congress.
Don’t forget your congressmen! Use this link to see the directory of congressmen. You can once again sort by state and find the congressman for your district. Don’t know your district? You can find that here by entering your zip code! Once you locate your congressman, find their name, and click on it to be transferred to their official site. Once again, find their “contact” button on their site to get their contact information. You can email or call them from here.
A best practice I always use is include my contact information after I have signed the email. Sure, the form already has me fill in this information, but I like to include it again to really emphasize that I want a reply back from them. Don’t forget to check out my full post on writing etiquette to learn more about successful letter writing.
How do I contact brands and businesses, though?
This one is a little trickier. I like to just go to their website and look for a “contact” section. For example, I may look up Dasani to inquire about their 30% bioplastic water bottle. I will use a search engine to search “Dasani” and go to their main page. I browse the top or bottom of their webpage for something along the lines of “contact” or “help” or “support center” to find contact info. Hopefully you can find an email or phone number this way. If not, maybe try searching “Dasani email” in your search engine.
I hope that this helps you become more successful letter writers and activists. If you need some help with templates and wording I highly recommend you follow Jessica Craven on TikTok. She not only provides full scripts to use for calling that you can also format for emails, but she often creates links with emails already added, you just have to add your name and hit send. She truly is an activist angel not only for the earth but for human rights as well.
Thank you so much for reading along, if you found this helpful I would really appreciate you sharing it. Never for personal gain, but because the more of us that write and call our governments, fingers crossed we will start to see the changes we really want to see.
As always, remember that your small actions have a big impact in the long run J