Contacting Your Elected Representatives: A Citizen's Guide
Finding Your Representatives
AOPA occasionally asks pilots to provide grass-roots support for lobbying initiatives in Congress, and pilots often wish to make contact on their own. Here are some guidelines and sources for pilots who want to contact their elected representatives in Washington, D.C.
Every American living in one of the 50 states has two senators representing the entire state and one representative for their congressional district. For more information on your representatives, see the House of Representatives and Senate Web sites. For information on legislation or a bill's stage in the legislative process, see the Library of Congress legislative Web site. You can get the actual text of bills at this site.
Should I Send an E-mail?
Pilots often suggest using e-mail to contact members of Congress. E-mail is the quickest, easiest, and most efficient way to send messages these days. However, not all congressional offices accept e-mail, so you may have to send a letter or a fax. Click here to find your representatives in the House and Senate, and get their e-mail or mailing addresses and fax numbers.
Writing a Letter or Fax
You can find fax numbers for congressional offices at the House and Senate Web sites linked above (some do not release their fax numbers). All members of the House and Senate can be reached at:
|The Honorable (Representative's name) |
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
|The Honorable (Senator's name)|
Washington, DC 20510
When time is short, AOPA will sometimes ask members to call their representatives. Any member of Congress can be reached through the U.S. Capitol switchboard numbers:
|House of Representatives |
Make your communication brief and concise - no more than a few paragraphs or one minute for a phone call—and include any personal experiences that may be relevant.
- Bring up other issues.
- Use profanity or insults.
- Send a letter or document from AOPA with your notes written in the margins.
Who to Write, When to Write
Contacting members of Congress who don't represent you is largely a waste of energy. Your letter will likely be forwarded to your representative or senators or ignored. Communicating at the wrong time can also be of little use, which is why AOPA often waits until the crucial moment, just before Congress acts on an issue, before asking pilots to make contact.
With more than 413,000 members nationwide, AOPA's strength is its membership. When AOPA members join together at the same time and demand to be counted, they are a powerful force. AOPA depends on your help to protect and promote the interests of general aviation in Washington. Thank you for making your voice heard.
Updated Wednesday, August 01, 2007 11:35:33 AM