Listen, people who are way better at this than I am are writing you speeches and letter drafts and collecting the phone numbers for you to dial and all this great organizational stuff for making complaints and asking your representatives, senators, mayors, police chiefs, and so on to make the right decisions to protect us.
That’s the number one priority and it’s insanely important, and before you do anything I’m going to talk about in this article, you need to do those things first. Save those numbers in your phone. Call every day until the requests are met.
Here are some excellent reads, resources and suggestions:
This article from nymag.com links to a constantly updated spreadsheet with scripts and suggestions on a wide range of topics.
Here’s a great article on how to make the most impact with your call, from Vice.
How to say thank you:
Now I was a nanny for years, and also the eldest child in a big family. I’ve learned a thing or two about the importance of positive reinforcement. So let’s–now that we’ve scolded them into doing the right thing–thank them for it.
This will reinforce their willingness to do the right thing again. It will also boost our own spirits individually as well as collectively; kindness, civility and appreciation for one another are some of our most important and precious assets. So let’s do this!
There are a few different ways. Calling on the phone and speaking directly with a staffer is by far the most effective, especially for getting things accomplished. But for a thank you, it is also perfectly acceptable to write or email. I’ll give you a basic script for how, as well as some contact information and resources for more contact information. Feel free to expand on this as it’s very simple–but simple is all you need, unless you have more you want to say.
Ready? Feel free to copy this word for word–though my site as a whole is copyrighted, the following script and letter/email draft I release officially to the public domain.
If you’re calling (they may ask you for your zip code, have it ready):
I am a constituent of _______ and I wanted to call to thank them for listening to the people in their jurisdiction regarding ________ . It means a lot to see an elected official respect the feelings and opinions of their electorate and to stand up for what is right. I hope they keep up the good work, and they can count on my continued input, support and vote.
If you’re writing an email or letter:
I wanted to write to say thank you for listening to the people in your jurisdiction regarding __________ . It means so much to see an elected official respect the feelings and opinions of their electorate and stand up for what is right.
I hope you keep up the good work, and you can count on my continued input, support and vote.
__your name & contact info__
How to find their contact information:
Please note that while the first results you will find for your senators and house representatives are for their DC offices, this is not the ideal place to send letters or to place calls. Find their local offices. This page has a handy list of your senators, and this page will help you find your representatives. Don’t use their links though (they’re for the D.C. offices or for contact forms)…Google their names and find their local office contact info. I will consider making a page with these links myself, but for now it’s up to you–it’s only one extra step, not even a hard one, and it’s worth it.
For mayors, governors, etc you’ll want to Google their names or go through your state’s official pages.
Any more suggestions? Leave them in the comments or shoot me an email!