Citizen's Lobbying By Phone

Lobbying is an effort made to influence the actions of elected officials. Your elected officials are in office to represent you, their constituent. It is their job to listen to your concerns and to take  them into account when making decisions. 

Whether we're meeting in-person or calling over the phone, we use lobbying to:

  • Educate our legislators about corporate constitutional rights and money in politics
  • Identify whether they are a supporter of Move to Amend, an opponent, or undecided  
  • Move supporters to become champions, or undecided individuals to become supporters  
  • Soften or neutralize our opponents
With the following steps, you can ensure a successful call to your legislator and build your own experience with making the pitch for the We the People Amendment!
 

Pre-Call Preparation: 

Become acquainted with what you will be asking for. Check out these resources:

Practice telling your story. We encourage you to practice telling your story in advance to increase confidence for your call.

Learn more about your Senators and Representatives. It is helpful to familiarize yourself with your Congress members’ priorities and views by visiting their websites at www.senate.gov or www.house.gov. Also check to see if they have co-sponsored any of the competing amendment resolutions.

PLEASE NOTE: As of June 1, 2017, the We the People Amendment is only proposed in the House of Representatives, not the Senate. Be sure to not confuse the two when making the call to your legislator.

Be prepared to talk with your legislator’s staff. Your legislator's assistants will almost always answer your phone call. Staff may be young, but they are instrumental in shaping the legislator’s views. It is not unusual for the legislator to defer to his/her staff for an opinion on your issue. It is important to demonstrate respect to everyone you encounter during your call.
 

Call Tips

Call as a group if possible. There is always strength in numbers. Whether you can call in over a speaker phone or call individually, make sure only one person is talking at a time. 

The constituents are most important. The legislators’ primary concern is whether you can elect him or her into office. If you live in the district you are important. The spokesperson should begin the call by identifying himself/herself as a constituent and introducing all participants, and briefly identify your request early in case time runs short.

Cover the priority issue. Now is the time you’ve been waiting for. Tell your story, and explain why passing the We the People Amendment is important to you. Make your remarks brief and to the point. Encourage them to learn more and do more.

Stay on topic. Be careful: a little chit-chat is acceptable, but be sure to stay on topic and not be drawn into storytelling—you’ll never know where the time went! Be concise and stick to the issue at hand, but do not rush the conversation. Don’t make statements that assume that others share your political views and be respectful when talking about all political leaders.

Solicit the legislator’s views on this issue. Review your request and do some research on your legislator. Has your legislator taken the Pledge to Amend? Have they endorsed other amendment measures?

If they have shown support for similar measures thank them appropriately and encourage them to sign on to the We the People Amendment. If there is disagreement, avoid arguing with your legislator or their staff. Listen to his/her perspective and then present your views. You will enhance your effectiveness if you can demonstrate a willingness to participate in a friendly exchange of ideas. Record the response of your legislator to facilitate follow-up.

Conclude your call. Offer to followup with an email containing more information. Thank them for their time and offer to be a resource to them going forward.

 

Phone Script for your House Representative:

“Hello, my name is [name] from Move to Amend. May I speak with the Representative or their legislative assistance?” (Write down the assistant’s name. Be sure to get the correct spelling)

I am a constituent of Representative [NAME] and I'm calling to ask [HIM / HER] to co-sponsor House Joint Resolution 48, the We the People Amendment, and discuss the importance of addressing the problem of big money in elections and corporate influence over the political and legal process. 

If a staff person answers, you should not expect a response -- they only keep a tally of public opinion. But if they ask you for more information about House Joint Resolution 48 and Move to Amend, go into deeper detail (Click here to see the current list co-sponsors):

The We the People Amendment was introduced in the House of Representatives last January with 21 co-sponsors. As of today, it has picked up 51 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

For the past five years, the Movement to Amend the Constitution has been clear: We must both abolish corporate constitutional rights AND get big money out of politics. It is not enough to simply overturn Citizens United, we must go to the root of the problem.

Tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation have been building a grassroots movement over the past six years from the bottom up. Over 400,000 people have signed our petition supporting the We the People Amendment. 

This movement came from everyday people taking this issue to their city governments, to town hall meetings, to candidate forums, to newspaper opinion pages, and to the ballot box directly. Over 750 cities, towns, and counties have now passed amendment resolutions. We have been on the ballot over 300 times -- in liberal and conservative communities alike -- and we have won every single one, usually with landslides of over 60%!

Polling shows 80% of the American public believes that corporations should not have the same rights as people. State legislatures have been pressured to stand up as well, with 19 states passing resolutions calling for an amendment.

At this point, the legislator or their assistant may ask for contact information in case they wish to followup. Or they may respond by engaging in conversation, which will be a good opportunity to solicit their views on the issue or explain why the We the People Amendment is important to you. Whatever their response, conclude your call with the following:

Please join your colleagues by co-sponsoring the We the People Amendment to let your constituents know you will do all you can to defend our Democratic Republic and We the People against special interests with deep pockets who are corrupting our democracy.

To sign on as a Co-Sponsor of this important Resolution, please contact Rep. Rick Nolan's office, the bill's lead sponsor.

Thank you for your time.

 

Phone Script for your Senator:

Hello, my name is [NAME]. May I speak with the Senator or their legislative assistant? (Write down the assistant’s name. Be sure to get the correct spelling)

I am a constituent of Senator [NAME]. Last January, the We the People Amendment (House Joint Resolution 48) was introduced in the House of Representatives and I'm calling to ask Senator [NAME] to sponsor this resolution in the Senate and discuss the importance of addressing the problem of big money in elections and corporate influence over the political and legal process.

If a staff person answers, you should not expect a response -- they only keep a tally of public opinion. But if they ask you for more information about House Joint Resolution 48 and Move to Amend, go into deeper detail:

The We the People Amendment was introduced in the House of Representatives last January with 21 co-sponsors. As of today, it has picked up 51 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

For the past five years the Movement to Amend the Constitution has been clear: We must both abolish corporate constitutional rights AND get big money out of politics. It is not enough to simply overturn Citizens United, we must go to the root of the problem.

Tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation have been building a grassroots movement over the past five years from the bottom up. Over 400,000 people have signed our petition supporting the We the People Amendment.

This movement came from everyday people taking this issue to their city governments, to town hall meetings, to candidate forums, to newspaper opinion pages, and to the ballot box directly. Over 750 cities, towns, and counties have now passed amendment resolutions. We have been on the ballot over 300 times -- in liberal and conservative communities alike -- and we have won every single one, usually with landslides of over 60%!

Polling shows 80% of the American public believes that corporations should not have the same rights as people. State legislatures have been pressured to stand up as well, with 19 states passing resolutions calling for an amendment.

At this point, the legislator or their assistant may ask for contact information in case they wish to followup. Or they may respond by engaging in conversation, which will be a good opportunity to solicit their views on the issue or explain why the We the People Amendment is important to you. Whatever their response, conclude your call with the following:

Please join your colleagues in the House by introducing the We the People Amendment to let your constituents know you will do all you can to defend our Democratic Republic and We the People against special interests with deep pockets who are corrupting our democracy.

To introduce this important Resolution, please contact Rep. Rick Nolan's office, the bill's lead sponsor in the House of Representatives.

Thank you for your time.


Call Followup

Thank Yous. Send a thank you letter to your Legislator or their staffer following the call. Thank the legislator and/or staff person for their time and reiterate your “ask” that they co-sponsor HJR 48. Put this letter in the mail as soon as you can -- preferably the same day.

Follow Up. One of the most important aspects of lobbying is the follow up.

It will also be important to follow up a month or 6 weeks later if your legislator or their staff person did not give you a clear answer, or gave you a positive answer but then did not follow through with their commitment. Whether this is done by phone or email, or even in person at a home state district visit, the staffer and legislator will know you are serious if you follow up. Always be friendly and professional, and offer to provide additional information if it will help them to make a decision.

It can help to set up an in-District meeting as part of this follow up.


Additional Resources

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