CALLING LAWMAKERS

Calling elected officials is a quick and easy way to communicate your position on a bill or issue.  There are several different sources that you can use to find the phone number for elected officials. Each of the websites below inlcude a complete directory, including email and phone contact information.

Federal Officials

Ohio Officials

The OEC is always happy to provide you with contact information for elected officials. Contact us at (614) 487-7506 or OEC@theOEC.org.

What to expect when you call

A staff member, not the lawmakers him/herself will most likely answer the phone. Before you begin to discuss your topic or issue, it is important to be sure that you are talking to the appropriate person.  If you are calling about a specific issue, ask to be connected with the staff member that handles that issue. If you are calling to request a meeting, ask to speak to the office scheduler.

Calling about an issue

Once the phone is answered, ask to speak to the aide who handles the issue you wish to discuss. When the appropriate person answers, tell him/her who you are and why you are calling.  If you’re calling to support or oppose legislation, it’s very helpful (though not absolutely essential) to also state some reasons behind your position.

Calling to Set Up a Meeting

Remember when requesting a meeting that the job of a legislator is to represent constituents like you. Clearly state your concern and ask if your legislator would be willing to meet with you. You should call to schedule your meeting about a month in advance. Be prepared to offer a couple of different times you’re availale.

Legislators are very busy and are most likely to meet with you if you give them good reasons. One way to do this is to clearly state on the phone why the issue is critical and timely. Another way to accomplish this goal is by organizing a group of constituents that want to meet with the legislator together. Contact your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to see who would be willing to join you and when (the OEC recommends a maximum of four participants). The more support you can generate around the issue, the more likely your legislator will set aside time to meet with you.

If your legislator prefers, go to his/her district office to meet.  However, if he/she is willing to be more flexible, ask if you can meet somewhere convenient in town (possibly your home, a coffee house, or a casual restaurant).