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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
•    Maps
•    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.

  1. Be prepared
    Know what points you want to stress. When possible, explain how this affects you or your members.

  2. 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.

  3. Identify
    Always identify yourself as a union member and constituent.

  4. Be polite
    Thank the legislator for past assistance. Be confident and straightforward without being rude.

  5. 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.

  6. Call back
    When a legislator is undecided, get back to him or her with more information and ask again for a specific position.

  7. Be honest
    Never lie, betray a confidence, threaten or misrepresent facts, or criticize other legislators or opposing groups.

  8. Visit
    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.

  9. Letters
    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.

  10. Phone calls
    Make notes on points you wish to stress and ask for specific action. Be polite to staff answering the phones.

  11. E-mail
    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.

  12. Postcards
    These are an effective tool to offset opposition postcard campaigns.

  13. 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

Learning is more than a test score - Tell ISBE to reject rule changes today!

by Beth Camplain | Nov 15, 2018
Email ISBE today and explain how this change would hurt your students and school!
In his final days as governor, Bruce Rauner’s Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is trying to rush through a rule change that would increase unfair testing burdens on schools and target high school students who exercise their right to opt out of state standardized tests.

ISBE’s continuing focus on standardized testing has exacerbated the inequities in Illinois’ public schools, particularly for communities of color and high-poverty schools. The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced the failed No Child Left Behind (NCLB), was designed to address those inequities. It also gave students the right to opt out of unnecessary, wasteful standardized tests.
The proposed changes to Part 1.30 rules would deny them that right by forcing high school students to take a final standardized test to graduate. The changes would also make testing and the associated paperwork even more burdensome for schools.
The public comment period on the proposed changes is open through December 3. Act now to tell ISBE why they’re a bad idea.

The IFT strongly believes the proposed rule change would increase the importance of flawed standardized testing and amplify NCLB’s harmful approach to public school accountability based on high-stakes assessments, sorting, ranking, and sanctioning of schools.
Click here LINK or on the button below, then fill in your name and email address. In the window provided, write a brief, personal message to explain how standardized testing has harmed your students and school. It is important that you describe your own thoughts and experiences on this important topic.

Educators and parents understand that learning is much more than a test score. Send ISBE that message before December 3.


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