If you would like to get involved with the Driftless Defenders and help us in our efforts, here are some actions you can take:
- Write LETTERS TO THE EDITOR in your local newspaper (see Resources section for Address List)
- Contact your legislators (http://legis.wisconsin.gov/about/contact)
- Attend events, parades, and meetings
- Display yard signs and banners
- Submit suggested posts for Facebook or Newsletter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Help with research on various topics
- Talk to you neighbors and friends
- Distribute informational materials: contact email@example.com
FACE-TO-FACE TIME: The best thing you can do to be heard and get your congressperson to pay attention is to have face-to-face time.
- If they have townhalls, go to them.
- Go to their local offices.
- If you’re in DC, try to find a way to go to an event of theirs.
- Go to the “mobile offices” that their staff hold periodically (all these times are located on each congressperson’s website).
When you go, ask questions. A lot of them. And push for answers. The louder and more vocal and present you can be at those the better.
DAILY CALLS: Those in-person events don’t happen every day. So, the absolute most important thing that people should be doing every day is calling.
- You should make 6 calls a day: 2 each (DC office and your local office) to your 2 Senators & your 1 Representative.
- The staffer was very clear that any sort of online contact basically gets immediately ignored, and letters pretty much get thrown in the trash (unless you have a particularly strong emotional story – but even then it’s not worth the time it took you to craft that letter).
A) ASK FOR THE RIGHT PERSON FOR YOUR ISSUE:
When calling the DC office, ask for the Staff member in charge of whatever you’re calling about (“Hi, I’d like to speak with the staffer in charge of Healthcare, please”). Local offices won’t always have specific ones, but they might. If you get transferred to that person, awesome. If you don’t, that’s ok – ask for their name, and then just keep talking to whoever answered the phone. Don’t leave a message (unless the office doesn’t pick up at all – then you can…but it’s better to talk to the staffer who first answered than leave a message for the specific staffer in charge of your topic).
They won’t always ask for it, but make sure you give it to them, so they can mark it down. Extra points if you live in a zip code that traditionally votes for them, since they’ll want to make sure they get/keep your vote.
“I voted for you in the last election and I’m worried/happy/whatever” or “I’m a teacher, and I am appalled by…,” or “as a single mother” or “as a white, middle class woman,” or whatever.
Don’t go down a whole list – they’re figuring out what 1-2 topics to mark you down for on their lists. So, focus on 1-2 per day. Ideally something that will be voted on/taken up in the next few days, but it doesn’t really matter – even if there’s not a vote coming up in the next week, call anyway. It’s important that they just keep getting calls.
“I’m disappointed that the Senator…” or “I want to THANK the Senator for their vote on…” or “I want the Senator to know that voting in _____ way is the wrong decision for our state because…” Don’t leave any ambiguity.
They may get to know your voice/get sick of you – it doesn’t matter. The people answering the phones generally turn over every 6 weeks anyway, so even if they’re really sick of you, they’ll be gone in 6 weeks.