Contact your lawmakers
Now more than ever, it’s important that your elected officials hear from you. Office visits and phone calls are the most powerful way to contact them. Here’s how to find information and make your voice heard.
The Illinois AFL-CIO Legislative Directory app
contains updated information on your state and federal elected officials. Search for “Illinois AFL-CIO” in the GooglePlay or Apple store to purchase today.
The directly includes:
• Address, phone, e-mail, website, and social media info
• Guidelines for effective lobbying
• Committee assignments
• Seating charts
• Legislative and state agencies
Use the directory to choose an elected official, then email or call lawmakers at the click of a button from within the app!
You can also look up your legislators through the Illinois State Board of Elections.
TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL LOBBYING
- Be prepared
Know what points you want to stress. When possible, explain how this affects you or your members.
- Be brief
Your time and the legislator's time are valuable. Stick to the point. Don't discuss more than two issues per meeting; on is best.
Always identify yourself as a union member and constituent.
- Be polite
Thank the legislator for past assistance. Be confident and straightforward without being rude.
- Get an answer
Listen to the legislator's answers. Don't interrupt what is said. Ask the legislator his/her position and get a specific answer.
- Call back
When a legislator is undecided, get back to him or her with more information and ask again for a specific position.
- Be honest
Never lie, betray a confidence, threaten or misrepresent facts, or criticize other legislators or opposing groups.
Face-to-face visits at the district office or the Capitol are best. When possible, bring four or five union or community members to emphasize the importance of the issue.
Short ONE-PAGE letters written in your own words are also effective. They should cover only one issue. Explain your position, urge the legislator to take a specific action, and ask for his/her position on the issue.
- Phone calls
Make notes on points you wish to stress and ask for specific action. Be polite to staff answering the phones.
When speed is necessary, use an e-mail to get your message across. To ensure the message reaches its destination, you should follow with a call or letter via the mail.
These are an effective tool to offset opposition postcard campaigns.
- Attend meetings
Union members need to be present at legislators' district meetings to raise labor's concerns.
• Illinois State Home Page
• Illinois State General Assembly
• Office of the Governor
• Statewide Elected Officials
• United States Senate
• United States House of Representatives
• Library of Congress
• The White House
• The National Democratic Party
• The National Republican Party
• Illinois Democratic Party
• Illinois Republican Party
• The League of Women Voters