Contacting Your Massachusetts State Legislators
If you do not know the name of your local state Representative or Senator, click the “contact info” button above to look them up – input your street address then search.
GOAL recommends the following means of communicating with your legislators – best practices listed first.
- Meet face to face – at their office, or better, look for opportunities to meet up when they are in “the district”.
- Phone call – you probably won’t reach them directly, so leave a concise & polite message with their aide.
- Write a letter – see guidelines below.
- EMail – at this time email is the least effective means of communicating with elected officials as they are often bulk deleted without being read.
Not sure which legislative district you live in? Look it up here on this easy to use interactive map. You will find your local Representative or Senator’s email address, as well as State House Room number and telephone number.
Looking for Additional Information?
This website is sponsored by the Secretary of the Commonwealth & Elections Division. Just type in your address and it will tell you everything from what precinct you are in and where to vote to who your local and US legislators are.
Contact Your U.S. Senator – click here for contact information.
Contact your U.S. Congressional Representative – click here for contact information.
To make your letter as effective as possible, just follow these four general guidelines:
- Be courteous and appreciative. Thank your legislator for favorable votes and actions. If he/she votes in accordance with your wishes, they will appreciate hearing it.
- Be specific. Your legislator is elected to act, so tell him what action you would like him to take. Refer to the subject of the bill as well as its number, if you know it. Your letter need not be lengthy, but you should state clearly whether you favor or oppose the bill, and explain why.
- Request an answer. Ask the legislator to tell you how he intends to vote on the bill.
- Use the proper address and salutation. For letters to your state senator and representative, use the following sample forms:
The Honorable Jane J. Doe
Dear Senator Doe:
The Honorable John Q. Smith
Dear Representative Smith:
|For the Senate and House leaders:|
The Honorable Harriette Chandler
Dear Mr. President:
The Honorable Robert A. DeLeo
Dear Mr. Speaker:
|For a Committee Chairman:|
The Honorable ———
Dear Mr. Chairman:
The Honorable ——-
Dear Mr. Chairman:
You can find the correct room number for state senators, representatives, and committee chairmen online.
Here’s a sample letter:
As your voting constituent, I am writing today asking that you review and hopefully sign onto the proposed legislation by Gun Owners Action League (GOAL). The 2018 legislation is laid out below; please note the deadline for signing onto legislation is 2/1/2019.
(insert your own example of how this law would affect you)
There are many other points of contention in both proposals, I won’t take up your time going through them line by line, instead I would urge you to speak with Jim Wallace at GOAL about making reforms which will help instead of criminalize MA gun owners.
Sample GOAL Legislation:
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration on this matter.
cc Gun Owners’ Action League
There are times when you will want to communicate with your legislators about legislation that is important to you. Many people are nervous about calling their legislators for the first time. Don’t be – it is their job to listen to what you have to say! Please keep in mind though that you should always be polite, concise and to the point. The old adage that you catch more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar holds very true in the political world.
Find your legislator’s contact information: http://www.state.ma.us/legis
When you are communicating your wishes to your elected representatives, you are exercising your constitutional rights.
If you are using the telephone, you may not be able to talk to the legislator directly. In that case, you should ask to speak to the aide that will be handling that legislation for your representative or senator.
Use the same guidelines as above:
- Be brief. Long calls are remembered for being an annoyance, not for their content!
- Be specific about what action you want the senator or representative to take.
- Thank the aide for their time. Ask for a letter confirming what action was taken.
In today’s high tech world, many people find email as an efficient tool to communicate with those who they may not have previously. Certainly, any contact with legislators is better than none at all. However, email has far less impact than a phone call or traditional letter. If you do use email to connect with your state legislators, here are a few tips:
- Be direct. Put the bill number or specific topic in the subject line of the email. This will allow staff members or legislators to quickly identify the subject of your email. It’s unlikely you will keep their attention if it takes 4 paragraphs to find out what legislation concerns you.
- Be brief. Between huge numbers on constituent email, spam and emails from people who do not even reside in their district, the longer it takes you to make your point or request action, the less likely you are to hold their attention.
- Be specific. As mentioned previously, you should request a specific action from the legislator, whether it is active support of a bill or a vote to defeat it. You should also specifically identify yourself as a constituent by including your full name and address.
Rules Of Thumb
Whether you are writing or calling, here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Be courteous. Insults won’t get votes.
- Be specific. Explain what you would like the legislators to do and ask for an answer.
- Be brief. Give one or two reasons why you are requesting the specific action. Short letters or calls are remembered better.
- Be registered to vote! If you are not registered, your opinion may be valued, but it certainly won?t count.