How do elected officials take feedback from
Most members of Congress care deeply about staying in
touch with their constituents back home. They have to
because their reelection depends on it. But do you
ever wonder about the most effective way to influence
The Congressional Management Foundation did a study of
congressional staffers that shows "click here" form
emails and social media posts aren't as effective as
personalized emails, phone calls, and letters.
Ninety-six percent of staff surveyed said that
in-district visits from constituents have "some" or "a
lot" of influence on an undecided member - more than
any other advocacy strategy!
According to Senator Feinstein at a recent town hall,
she receives daily reports that
summarize the top 3-5
issues that people
to her office about. These overviews sum up the number
of calls and whether or not they were in support or
opposition to a certain proposal. Weekly reports go
into more depth and include stories and quotes that
staff have heard that week. These a bit more
subjective, as it is up to staff to decide what is the
most compelling. Weekly reports also include
emails, faxes, letters, and postcards. If the
Senator is going to vote on an issue, staff will
provide her with a comprehensive report on constituent
feedback the night before.
Senator Feinstein has been seeing an absolutely
overwhelming increase in the number of calls from
constituents as community members have become more
politically engaged. On a single day last month her
San Francisco office received 700 calls in a single
day. The exact same day the year before, they only
received four! It seems that people are more
politically engaged now than ever, and you should make
your voice heard too!
to look up your federal representatives and
to look up your state representatives.