Part 2: What to say (or write) to your Senator & Representative

Objective: Call your State Representative and State Senator

If you completed Part 1, you now know the names and telephone numbers for your State Representative and Senator. Now you will call them. When you call, there is only a 1% chance that you will talk to your legislator. 99% of the time you will talk to one of their staff. That is fine because the staff will keep a record of the call. That is one of their main jobs.

Please be polite when talking to the legislator or staff. They usually tune out angry callers. They don’t mind talking about opposing views as long as the conversation is civil. The staff is not the decision-makers so they are not responsible for any decision the legislator makes, so please be polite.

A typical call would include these items.

1. My name is ____________________.

2. I live in Representative/Senator ______________________ ‘s district. (Since you can vote for/against the legislator, your opinion is more important.)

(At some point the staff will probably ask you for your zip code. This helps them verify that you do live in their district.)

3. I would like Representative/Senator _________________ to support more charter schools, school vouchers, tuition tax credits, and any other bills that increase school choice. (This is a general request.)

4. I would like Rep/Senator _________________ to vote in favor of House Bill 465 (or Senate Bill 308 if he is a Senator.) (This is a specific request.)

(Currently law doesn’t allow more than 215 charter-school “charters” in Texas. That cap has been reached and there are 17,000 kids on waiting lists to enroll in charter schools in Texas. House Bill 465 removes the cap of 215, so there can be as many charter schools as the families need. Senate Bill 308 is identical to HB 465. It just has a different number because it was filed in the Senate.)

5. Is Rep/Senator __________________________

__ in favor of HB 465/SB 308? (This puts the legislator on the spot to commit.)

(The staff will probably say that their boss has not had time to study the bill and make a decision. You can ask that you be called when he does make a decision. We will tell you if and when HB 465/SB 308 will come to a vote, so that you can call again to ask for a decision from your legislator.)

6. You can also include a personal story of how school choice has affected you or a neighbor, but keep it brief and to the point.

7. Thank you, __________________ for your time.

Please send a message to me after you finish so that I can know who has completed this lesson.
Bob Schoolfield
bob@ceoaustin.org

P.S. – You can call again in one or two weeks and your opinion will be counted twice. They receive many calls and have different staff. The next person to answer the phone will have forgotten that you called earlier.

2 Responses to “Part 2: What to say (or write) to your Senator & Representative”

  1. EMERGENCY ACTION POINT! « Texans for Parental Choice in Education Says:

    […] Part 2: What to say (or write) to your Senator & Representative […]

  2. Vicky Says:

    ive been thinking lately about the state of our country, and the direction we are headed. If this is truly a democracy, aside from voting, what democratic tools do I have to voice my opinion in a serious matter that will actually be heard, when it comes to my issue of our current education system. The numbers are there showing that as a country we are doing poorly. That is legitimate concern, because everyone benefits from an educated workforce, and very many suffer when we don’t have one. We pay the government to take care of us, the citizens in this country. There has got to be a way, in a democracy, to make them realize they are doing a shitty job in a civil manner. Is calling our representatives really something that gets heard? Every time I have contacted my rep the most I would get is a generic response letter telling me thank you and that they believe differently. Am I wrong in assuming that it doesn’t matter what they think, that their actions in congress should depend pretty much on what their constituents feel? There has got to be something. Right now I’ve decided that I will call my representative on a weekly, or bi weekly basis. It’s gotta be able to do some good, right??

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