Many advocates are behind the idea of contacting their members of Congress, but never actually do it. It is easy to feel helpless in this political climate. It is easy to feel small when the challenges and injustices in the world are so big.
A lot can go into making up your mind to get in touch with an elected official – someone in power. As you contemplate, don’t let what ifs keep you from taking action! Below are some answers to questions we often receive when an advocate is hesitating. See below how to push away the what ifs and why it is always a good idea to contact your elected officials.
But, what if I have contacted them before?
A relationship is built on a series of interactions, not just one. Even if you are calling or emailing about the same issue you called or emailed about before, each new message raises the profile of the issue. You can get creative with your asks! Share a personal story, reference a news article you recently read, share a bible verse that inspires you, or just simply share that this issue is still on your heart and you want the politician to do something.
But, what if I know they agree with me?
Sometimes it is not about agreeing, but about prioritizing. In this session of Congress – as of this writing – 15,757 pieces of legislation have been introduced and the number is increasing every day. Senators and representatives prioritize the issues they hear about – so they need to hear from you! One person cannot be an expert on every issue, so even if your members of Congress agree with your points of view, more conversations may be needed.
Many members of Congress go from general supporter to champion after meeting with or hearing from an advocate. Maybe they did not realize the urgency or impact of the issue. Or maybe, they did not realize how much voters cared. Either way, it was individuals who spoke up who made the difference.
But, what if I know they will never agree with me?
We don’t think that is a reason to not speak up for those whose voices aren’t heard – no one ever said this would be easy! Every member of Congress needs prayer – this is the advocacy that has the potential to really make a difference. Progress may be small, and you may forego the instant gratification of seeing your Senator’s or Representative’s name on the cosponsor list. But maybe they’ll move from being a vocal opponent to no longer speaking out against an issue. Maybe they attend a hearing on the refugee crisis or maternal and child health so they can learn more. Use World Vision resources to sway your members of Congress – passion plus education is sometimes the perfect formula to change a person’s mind.
But, what if they have already taken action?
Let them know that you are paying attention to the positive as well as the negative. So many people ask, but rarely do people thank. Thank them for the action they took, then ask them to go one step further. Can they push for a vote? Speak to a committee member? Reach across the aisle and try to get a colleague on board? There is a lot of change that is needed and a lot to do to make it happen!
Feeling more confident? Take action today and ask your members of Congress to support the issues you care about:
Photo: Mursheda wishes she could be in school and dreams of being a teacher, but until then, she works in a family’s home doing chores. When she has free time, she loves jumping rope. She hopes that by attending the World Vision Child Friendly Learning and Recreation Center, she will be able to learn and that it will help her become a teacher. You advocate for kids like her! ©2017 World Vision