Contact Government Officials

Contact GovernmentGovernment is supposed to work for the benefit of the people. Officials and bureaucrats must to hear from you. Writing, phone calls, and personal conversations are an important responsibility of citizenship. And know that on some issues only a few letters and calls can persuade a legislator.

Some ways are better than others. This is a general listing of best to less effective, recognizing exceptions are often the rule.

1. Personal time, 1-1 or with small group, unhurried, with official.
2. Personal time with legislative assistant.
3. Handwritten letter, preferrably one page, with one point.
4. Phone call to officials office.
5. Emails are usually not as effective at higher federal levels, although at state and local levels they can be.
6. Mass petitions at the federal level are often a ploy by an organization to build its mailing and fundraising list. At a local level they might have some clout.
7. Boilerplate letters are minimally effective. Write your own.
8. Some legislators ignore communication from outside their representation area.

CONTENT and TONE

Even if one dislikes an official, it is important to conduct oneself with civility and respect for the office. Make good points but also be a courteous listener. Dress appropriately. Do not be intimidated. In a personal meeting, a couple of minutes of ice-breaking chat can relax everyone, maybe find something in common. Then cut to the chase. Their time is valuable. If you are a beginner, ask someone with experience to coach you or accompany you.

There are many resources available for preparation and conduct during a meeting. Here are a few:

Wider Opportunities for Women has good pointers

Georgia Realtors has details that you can adapt for our group

Texas Community College Teachers has brief overview

 

ADDRESSES

President Barack Obama at The White House

A member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

West Virginia Legislators

Pocahontas County Commission Addresses
Mr. Bill Beard - 6426 Seneca Trail, Hillsboro, WV  24946 304-653-4278 williamsjr@frontiernet.net

Mr. Jamie Walker - 775 Red Lick Road, Marlinton, WV  24954 304-799-0864 (Mr. Walker does not use email)

Mr. David McLaughlin - 14149 Brown’s Creek Road, Marlinton, WV  24954 304-456-4053 mtnmeadowsfarm@hotmail.com

Pocahontas County Commission Website

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC]