2024 Contact Congressional Representative

2024 Contact Congressional Representative


PURPOSE:  The purpose of this assignment is for each student to identify his/her elected representatives (e.g. US House Representative and two US Senators), and then to contact one of them.  The desired outcome is that each student will know who their elected representatives are and will contact one of them about a topic of interest. 

Student Instructions:

Part I:  Provide contact details for each of your elected representatives.  Each representative has a local address within the district where you live (SANGER, TEXAS) and an address at the capitol (Washington D.C.).  For each, provide complete contact information (specific district number, address for district and capitol offices, phone, official website, when originally elected, etc.). 

    Use the Federal Representatives Contact Worksheet (attached) to complete this section.

Part II:  Contact one of your national representatives, identified on the worksheet, by writing a personal letter (no formal citation style requirements needed).  You may optionally choose to personally visit or call his/her office; however, emailing is not an acceptable option since it does not meet this assignments intent.  If you choose one of these alternatives you MUST receive instructor approval first.  The student will be required to provide confirmation details of the visit and/or phone conversation (who contacted, date/time, length of visit/call, issue addressed, final resolution, etc.). 

Students must post their letter for review BEFORE sending it. 

    Write a 1-page letter
    Must be typed
    Observe proper letter-writing etiquette and be respectful
    Address one (1) issue of your choice (see sample topics at bottom if needed)
    Ask to take some action and back up your statements.  For example, encourage him/her to support or not support a specific piece of pending legislation or about a presidential nominee. 
    Provide data/information to support your point(s) within the letter (this does not have to be in any formal citation style). 
    This is a personal letter and does NOT require formal writing style nomenclature (i.e. you do not have to have MLA or APA title page or works cited, etc.). 

    Show Instructor your envelope that is unsealed, addressed correctly, and stamped

Helpful Sources:
    How to Contact Your Representative or Senator: A Beginners Guide:  https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2016/08/how-to-contact-your-representative-or-senator-a-beginners-guide/
    Good guide with sample letters:  https://www.apa.org/advocacy/guide/federal-guide.pdf#page=20

Student Learning Outcome(s) supported:  LO-2, 7, 8

Grading Rubric:
    Fully completed Contact Worksheet:  7.5 pts. 
    Student letter:  7.5 pts
Sample Topics to Address:

    Address one, and only one, topic/issue relevant to the Federal Government:

Sample topics only: 

    Immigration Reform
    Federal budget, deficits and debt
    2nd Amendment
    Recreational marijuana
    Federally-subsidized student loans
    Government bailouts of private companies
    Taxes, tax code
    Government mandated healthcare/insurance
    Criminal justice reform
    Congressional term limits
    Campaign Finance

    Want to address another issue?  Talk to instructor to approve. 

    Remember, this is a Federal Government course so focus your topic on that level. 

    Take a stand on the issue, explain your position (be polite but clear), and specifically ask for some action (e.g. to support/oppose current legislation or for your Senator to support/oppose a Cabinet or Supreme Court nominee, etc.)

Suggestions to assist in effective letter writing:

    Be personal in your letter. Use the name of your Congressman-dont address it to Dear Congressman. You typically dont appreciate mail addressed to Dear Occupant; neither does he; call him/her by name.

    Get to the point-dont be long-winded or wordy; three or four paragraphs is plenty and is much more likely to receive serious attention than is a lengthy letter. After a short friendly greeting, explain why you are writing and what you would like the Congressman to do.

    Be specific in your requests. If possible, try to give the name, number, or description of the bill or measure with which you are concerned. Do not ask him to do general things like bring world peace, end the famines in Africa, etc.; he can no more do that than you can.

    Dont get preachy. Give practical, well-thought-out, logical reasons for your position and why you want him to take certain steps.

    Dont threaten. Dont tell him, for example, that if he doesnt vote the way you want that you will never vote for him again.  Threats tend to bring out the stubborn side in most individuals.

    Be complimentary and appreciative, not antagonistic, provoking, obnoxious, rude, or abrasive.

    Close with a statement of appreciation, and sincerely and genuinely thank him (for his service, for his consideration of your request, etc.), and then ask him for a response to your letter.

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