Tips for calling your legislator
Be prepared – Think, or even speak, through what you want to say. IFB phone call action requests don’t get much easier. You’ll be provided with a script, talking points, and automatically connected to your legislator’s office.
Find the right telephone number – If you’re calling a legislator outside of an IFB action request, there are numerous ways to find phone numbers:
- Ask your county Farm Bureau.
- Use the Legislative Action Center. Type in your address, and your legislator's contact information will appear.
- Use a switchboard. U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 State of Illinois Switchboard: 217-782-2000
Talk to the right person – Remember that a staff member may take telephone calls, not the legislator. When asking a legislator to vote yes or no, you can share that with the person answering the phone. Don’t feel discouraged if staff answers your call, they are extremely knowledgeable and work directly with the legislators. Your message will reach the legislator whether or not you speak directly to them.
Identify yourself – State you name, address, and indicate that you are a constituent. Again, this information is used to double check that you live in the district, and if necessary, used to follow up after your phone call.
Be brief and concise – Tell the person answering the phone that you would like to leave a brief message, such as: "Please tell Senator/Representative (Name) that I support/oppose (House Bill ___ or Senate Bill ___)."
Provide reasons – Say why you support or oppose a bill. Ask for your legislator's position on the bill. You may also request a written response to your telephone call.
Say thank you – Thank the person answering the phone for his/her time. After a vote, call again and thank your legislator for their vote.