Politics have never particularly captivated me. I know 2020 is a better time than ever to get started! I went to college out of state and never opted out of my mail-in ballot so I already voted. I know there have to be more ways to get involved than voting this year, however. I figured my dad would have some insight on an idea I had after watching some snippets of Amy Coney Barrett and realizing she’s not the pick for me, — how can I call the senate and tell them how I feel about the Supreme Court nominee? Social media makes it sound so simple to call your senator, but my anxiety disagreed.
My dad said he’d called the senate many times over the years, especially since he’s a state worker and national guardsman. He felt that it was part of his civic duty and that it’s as easy as it sounds. At first, I was skeptical since I remember my first time ordering pizza and hanging up because I forgot what I practiced only seconds before.
Nevertheless, he said that it’s simple — you call the office, tell them who you’re looking to speak to and your reason for calling, give them your name and where you’re calling from, and that’s it! If you have anxiety like I do, you may be thinking, “It can’t be that simple, right?” So I’m here to ease your mind with some how-to call your senator basics!
Who do I call?
Many Americans don’t actually know who their senators and representatives are off the top of their heads. I just guessed and looked them up before calling just to be safe. That’s totally okay! Once you find the names, you can find their contact information as well.
How do I contact them?
Once you have the who and the why of your call, you’re ready to go! If you found their contact information when double-checking their names, you can easily contact them from there. If you weren’t able to find that information, you can always dial 202-224-3121 to reach the Capitol switchboard. The operators on that line will transfer you right over to the line you need.
What happens when I call? What do I say?
This is the part I was afraid of, and honestly, I shouldn’t have been! A legislative assistant will answer the phone asking if your call will require a call back (most likely response here is no). All you have to do is tell them who and where you are, and why you’re calling — that’s literally it. Don’t worry, I have drafted a simple script template here:
“Hello, my name is __, calling from __. I do not need a response. I’m calling because I am concerned about __ and I strongly encourage my senator to please vote for/against __. Thank you for your hard work, stay safe!”
Here’s a script Planned Parenthood has shared regarding Amy Coney Barrett:
“Hi, my name is __________, and I live in ___________.
I’m calling to demand that my senators not take any vote on Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. We the people deserve a chance to vote before another judge is given a lifetime appointment on the court.
Trump has promised to nominate and appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and undermine access to healthcare. The election is already underway, and the Senate should be focusing on addressing much-needed COVID-19 relief and other critical issues facing the nation, not ramming through another Supreme Court justice.
I expect my senator to vote against moving forward on a Supreme Court nominee until after the inauguration.
Thank you for your time.”
That’s all folks! (Looney Tunes, anyone?)
After some research and my own call or two, I can tell you it really isn’t as bad as it might seem. Shoutout to my close friends who tried this out with me! Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zones to make such an important phone call this year.
Your voice matters.
Don’t sit back and let important issues you feel passionate about pass you by. Your voice is important, and you can call your senator with me. With all of the issues that have come up in 2020 alone, a quick phone call is worth it.
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