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Contacting Elected Federal Government Officials

Informing your elected officials how you feel about their work or an issue in the country is your right and duty as a U.S. citizen. This page provides information on how to contact the President and Vice President, US House and Senate members (both local to UCB and nationwide). Ten tips for writing correspondences are also available at the bottom of this page.


President and Vice President

President: Barack Obama
Vice President: Joseph Biden

Contact the Admistration: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switch Board: 202-456-1414
TTY/TTD:  202-456-6213

Letters can be sent to either the President or the Vice President at the following address:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

 

U.S. House of Representatives

For UC Berkeley (California 9th Congressional District):

The Honorable Barbara Lee
Website: http://lee.house.gov/
Email: Use the House of Representatives Webform

Oakland District Office
1301 Clay Street Suite 1000-N
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-763-0370
Fax: 510-763-6538

Washington DC Office
1724 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-2661
Fax: 202-225-9817


Other U.S. Representatives:

Write Your Representative-From the House of Representatives website, use this page to find your representative and send him or her an email.

Congressional Directory-From the Government Printing Office, use this page when you know your representatives name.

 

U.S. Senate

For California: Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein

The Honorable Barbara Boxer
Website: http://boxer.senate.gov/
Webform: http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/email/

San Francisco Office
1700 Montgomery Street,
Suite 240
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-403-0100
Fax: 415-956-6701

Other California Offices
Washington DC Office
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-3553
Fax: 202-228-2382

 


The Honorable Diane Feinstein
Website: http://feinstein.senate.gov/
Webform: http://feinstein.senate.gov/email.html

San Francisco Office
One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: 415-393-0707

Other California Offices

Washington DC Office
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3841
Fax: 202-228-3954
TTY/TDD: 202-224-2501

 

Other States:

U.S. Senators by State- From the Senate's website, a list of the current senators by state.

 

10 Tips for Contacting an Elected Official

Letters, emails, and faxes are effective ways to communicate with your elected officials. Below are some tips on contacting and communicating with your elected official.

1. Be Original- Consider writing your own original correspondence. While many organizations can provide you a pre-written letter or postcard that you simply sign, many legislators consider a thoughtful, original letter from a constituent worth 1000 of the pre-written letters. Feel free to use a pre-written letter as a base and expand on it with your own words.

2. Stay Brief- The maximum length of a letter/email should be 1 page. Keep in mind that the letter will probably be read by a legislative aid, so a brief letter is best.

3. State Who You Are and What You are Writing About- Identify yourself as a constituent and why you are writing in the first place first paragraph. This will keep your letter brief. However, refrain from using the lines like "As a citizen and a taxpayer..." Also, if you know the House or Senate Bill by name or bill number state it in the first paragraph.

4.Personalize Your Letter/Email- If the legislation you are writing about will affect you personally, tell the legislator about it. Write a brief personal story about what the legislation will/will not do for you and/or your community.

5.Personalize Your Relationship- The more you can personalize your relationship with the legislator, the stronger your letter/email will be. If you voted for the legislator, worked on his/her campaign, or donated money to the legislator or their party, say so. If you ever met the legislator, briefly mention this in your letter.

6.Three Points- In keeping your correspondence short, consider making no more than three main points. Flush out your three strongest points and stick with them.

7. Be Respectful- The easiest way to not have your letter read is to be disrespectful. "Dear Idiot" will probably send your letter to the garbage, however taking a firm position on an issue is fine. Do not use profanity. Even if your legislator is not the person you voted for, remember to be respectful.

8. Include Your Address in Your Signature, Even in Email- Legislators are busy people and you should also never demand a response. However some legislators will take the time to write back, but they cannot if you do not include your address. Including your address also affirms the fact that you are a constituent.

9. Proper Address- Below are the ways to address your letters:

Dear Mr. President:

Dear Mr. Vice President:

Dear Senator (Name):

Dear Representative (Name):

10. Follow up- After you have contacted your elected official, follow up on what they did. If he/she voted the way you wanted, consider contacting them to thank him/her. If your legislator did not vote the way you wanted, consider contacting them and respectfully express your disappointment. In any follow-up letter/email, mention the fact that you wrote him/her before the vote was taken.

02/03/2009