Speaking with policymakers and their staffs over the phone is a quick, easy way to influence public policy as an effective grassroots advocate. You can place phone calls to speak in favor or against a specific piece of legislation, to ask the policymaker to take a specific action or just to generally share your thoughts on an issue.
Use the directory on ACTE’s Action Center to find contact information for your federal policymakers. You can also visit our Action Center for current, specific federal policy requests. More information about ACTE’s Action Center can be found below.
If you want to make an immediate impact on an issue, use the phone. Staff and policymakers avoid getting the message from constantly ringing phones as the time of a decision on a major issue approaches. Hours of steady rings have been known to change the response from “thank you for calling” to “the Member of Congress is definitely backing the proposal.”
- For contacting your federal Member of Congress, find your legislator’s phone number either by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or by visiting the ACTE Action Center. If you need further assistance, please call ACTE at 800-826-9972.
- Once connected to the office, be sure to identify yourself as a constituent and educator or other CTE stakeholder. Ask to speak to the staff member who handles education or workforce development issues (depending on what program you are calling about). Local officials may not have a staff member to field calls and may answer directly, but high-ranking public officials rarely take calls directly.
- After you have identified yourself, tell the staff member the reason you are calling—remember to keep your remarks short and focused.
- Remember to say, “Thank you for taking my call and considering my views.” – even if they disagree with you.
The following video discusses calling your policymakers. A sample phone call to a policymaker begins at 2:27.