According to the US Constitution, your House and Senate representatives are elected to represent your interests to the Congress, so if there is a piece of legislation that can have an impact on you or your family as members of our spondylitis community, it's important for you to contact Congress so they can hear from you to represent your interests.
Here are some things to remember when contacting Congress.
- Always be polite. Even if you are angry, frustrated or disappointed, use a polite tone and appropriate language.
- Be clear about who you are and why you are contacting them.
- Share your personal experience. You are the expert on spondylitis and how it impacts you or your loved one.
- Be concise and informed. Visit www.thomas.gov to find out the details about legislation and the last action taken on the piece of legislation you are contacting your representative about.
- Be honest. Do not exaggerate the situation you are discussing. If you are providing statistics, let them know your source.
- Provide a specific action you want them to take. For example, ask your representative to support or co-sponsor a specific legislation.
- Ask for a response. Hold them accountable if they do not respond to your request.
- Say thank you. Express appreciation if they support an important piece of legislation or respond to your request.
[Click here for a sample phone call script]
- Identify yourself as a constituent.
- Expect to talk to the staffer responsible for the issue.
- State the reasons you are calling and the action you want your legislator to take. Remember to keep it simple and give a brief description of the legislation you want them to support. Use written notes to stay focused.
- Be concise.
- Request a follow-up.
[Click here for a sample email]
- Be personal when emailing your representative. Emails may be overlooked if they are perceived as a form letter.
- Discuss only one issue.
- Always give your full name and street mailing address.
- Contact your representative's office and ask if email is a preferred method of communication.
[Click here for a sample letter]
- Use a business format for the letter, which includes the current date and your mailing address.
- Introduce yourself and identify yourself as a constituent in the first paragraph.
- Stick to one issue in the letter and keep it to one page at the most.
- Share your personal story. How has spondylitis impacted your life?
- Thank your official for his or her time.
- Request a response to your letter.