Come Together to Inspire, Interact, Influence, and Impact.

Log Out? Are you sure you want to log out?
Log Out
Victoria Coley
April 22, 2022 - 5 minutes
facebook linkedin twitter telegram telegram

How To Engage with Legislators and Public Officials

The United States Congress is composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. These are federal offices. As a constituent, you are represented by a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and by two U.S. Senators. It is important you know who represents you so that you can communicate with them on the issues you care about.

  • Your Representative: First, you need to know what congressional district you live in and what member of Congress is responsible for that district. A quick and easy way to do this is to visit This site will ask for your zip code and once you enter it, you will be told the congressional district in which you live and the name and photograph of your Congressperson. You will also be linked directly to that Congressperson’s website where you can learn how to contact the member and their stance on the issues.
  • Your Senators: Every state has two U.S. Senators representing the people of that state. You can go to and there is a tab “Find Your Senators” that will allow you to enter the state in which you live and will tell you the names of your two senators.
  • The President: The President of the United States invites the public to communicate on any given issue and White House staff is well-equipped to respond to citizen concerns and questions. If you would like to know more about the Administration’s actions or stance on a particular topic, the easiest way to find out is to go to

If you prefer to gather information via the telephone you can call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard and ask to be connected to your member’s office. That number is (202) 224-3121. The operator will ask for your zip code and then connect you with your members of Congress. 

State and Local Governments 

Local representatives—mayors, state representatives, city or council representatives, school board members—are closest to the people and most attuned to the issues facing the state and locality. In order to be engaged in the issues that will definitely impact your daily life, it is important to know who represents you in your state legislature and closer to home in the mayor’s office, county or city councils, and on the school board.  

City Level

Most cities have an elected mayor and members of a city council. You can call or email these officeholders and express your concerns and opinions. You can do an online search for you city’s website for their email addresses. Your local public school will also have a website that will list the emails for the superintendent and school board. 


Almost every state has a bicameral legislature, which means there is an “upper” house, which is smaller and consists of state senators, and another body that is larger and most frequently called the House of Representatives. There is an online resource at that offers an easy way to discover your state representatives by typing in your home address. This site also allows you to monitor the legislation that is being considered in your state. 


With the exception of a few states, most states divide their territories into counties. These counties have councils that direct the activities within the state. Council members are elected by their constituents. There are some states without county structures and instead have “boroughs” or “parishes.” In order to learn more about the local governance structure in your state, a good place to begin is your state’s generalized information page, an example would be These websites offer information about the state’s governing structures, demographics, tax record, motor vehicle information and much more.

How to Engage

When you reach out to your representative, it’s best to make it personal! 

  • First, introduce yourself and tell them that you are a constituent. This matters to them. It tells them you are a voter. Be respectful and polite but do not apologize for asking them for assistance. It’s their job!
  • Second, tell them your story in a concise way. Decide ahead of time what you want to communicate so that you can explain things clearly and tell them the specifics of the issue that concerns you. 
  • Third, ask them to follow up with you. You can ask to have the name of a Legislative Assistant that can help you in the future. 
  • Fourth, follow up. If you spoke to a representative in person, follow up with a note summarizing the issue and asking for a follow-up call or letter. 
  • Enlist others in your community to reach out as well and carry your message. There is safety in numbers but numbers also get attention. Encourage your friends, neighbors, and others in your community who might be affected by the issue to join you in reaching out.
Victoria Coley Jacksonville, FL.
Back to Resource Center

More from Victoria Coley

Read This UNC Female Athletes Join IWN Denver Leader and IWV Spokeswoman Riley Gaines to Urge North Carolina General Assembly to Save Women’s Sports

Raleigh, NC – Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), the nation’s leading national women’s…

Victoria Coley April 20, 2023
Fighting Back Tell NY Assembly Members to OPPOSE AB 709–A—No Men in Women’s Prisons

The state of New York is currently considering legislation that would require…

Victoria Coley April 14, 2023
Fighting Back Tell Congress to Support Parents Rights

*UPDATE: On Friday, March 24th, the House passed the Parents Bill of…

Victoria Coley March 15, 2023
Fighting Back Support Education Freedom in Virginia

Help is finally on the way in the form of education policy…

Victoria Coley January 20, 2023
Escaping Your Government Assigned Schools Gov. Youngkin’s New Model Protects Privacy, Dignity, And Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia announced an overhaul…

Victoria Coley September 16, 2022

Related Posts by IWN

How To: Talk To Kids About… Patriotism

Help teach kids about the founding of the United States and why…

Julie Gunlock May 11, 2024
How To: To Kids About… Women’s Equality And The Law

In this latest How To Talk to Kids, we provide basic information…

Julie Gunlock May 11, 2024
How To: Talk To Kids About… The Minimum Wage

Parents and caregivers can help explain the minimum wage to the kids…

Julie Gunlock May 11, 2024
How To: Talk To Kids About… The Environment And Climate Change

Parents and caregivers can help explain climate change and the environment to…

Julie Gunlock May 11, 2024
How To: Talk To Kids About… Christopher Columbus And The Discovery Of America

Parents and caregivers can help explain Christopher Columbus and the discovery of…

Julie Gunlock May 11, 2024