It is 0900 on Tusday after Memorial day. There has been lots of talk about Congress looking to create new infringement laws. I decide to contact my Senators to voice my position and stance.

First I call the DC numbers for both. I’m given an option of leaving a message for my Senator. Nothing else.

I then call the office of my Senator here in my home state. A staffer answers, I give him my name and city of residence. This establishes me as somebody that is represented by my Senator. I request to make an appointment.

The staffer says “Tell me more about your concern and I’ll make sure they get your comments.” Now this is a blow off. So I again ask “How do I make an appointment to speak to my Senator?” Staffer again refuses to answer. This goes back and forth a half dozen times. He won’t tell me how to make an appointment. Keeps demanding to know what I want to speak about. “Her support of infringing on the rights of US citizens” isn’t good enough.

In the end he ends the conversation. In the course of the conversation I learned that I would have to tell an anonymous staffer what my concerns were. He would pass it to a staffer who would decide if they would pass my request to the schedulers who might then contact me to make an appointment.

So I called Ted Cruz’s office. He’s not my Senator. There is a message that Ted recorded, given multiple options including “Press zero to talk to somebody on my staff.” That staffer was unable to help me get an appointment with my Senator but explained how it worked for Ted. I had a pleasant conversation, said thank you. Told him I wished that Ted was my Senator, then corrected that to “I wish my Senator was more like Ted.”

Using the suggestion from Ted’s office, I went to my other Senator’s webpage and put in a request for an appointment with my other Senator. I’ll wait to see if I get an appointment.

In the mean time, I’m writing a letter to send to my Senator’s and Representative.

In terms of how much weight a political representative puts on any communications, they are ranked:

  1. Comment on Social Media
  2. Directed Tweet or other bulk comment
  3. E-mail
  4. Phone call
  5. Typed/printed letter
  6. Hand written letter
  7. In person conversation

I’ve normally opted for making a phone call. I’ve attempted to get an in person conversation with my Senators. I’ve written a letter which I will print and send out later today.

Report your attempted contacts or contacts in the comments below. Let us know how well you did in communicating with your Senator or Representatives and what sort of response you get.

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By awa

8 thoughts on “A tale of three Senators…”
  1. A bunch of years ago I took a week long training session about how Capital Hill works. One thing that stood out to me was the way to react to interaction with an elected official.
    The take away was:
    1. The Rep or Senator gets hundreds of meeting requests a day. They will not take all of them, end of story. No insult meant, it is a matter of hours in a day. And… no, that does not mean they disagree with your position
    2. If you get to their office, and a senior level staffer meets with you, that is a good thing. (It was not explained how you can tell a staffer’s seniority, I guess you have to take them at their word.) What that means is the Senator/Rep is in fact interested in what you have to say, but just cannot squeeze you in.
    3. If you get to their office and the Senator/Rep does meet with you, and it is a very short meeting, it means they agree with you. If it is a longer meeting, it means they are not in agreement with you, but want to understand more about your position. (Could be to vote against it, or possibly to help them decide.
    4. If your concern is just taken by a staffer, no meeting, it could mean they are in agreement, and any kind of meeting is not necessary.
    However. The one thing that was also made clear is: If you do not tell the staffer answering the phone specifically what you want to talk about, they are going to ignore you. As I noted, the Congresscritters are getting hundreds of meeting requests a day, and they cannot take the time to meet with someone without it being clear, absolutely clear, what you want to meet about.
    And… sorry to say, but “I want to talk about infringement of my rights” would not move the needle on my importance meter, and I have plenty of time for meetings every week. I would recommend, highly, that you make your issue clear. Very clear. You are not going to break through the staffer wall without doing so. Try: “I want to talk to the Senator about possible upcoming gun control legislation, and make the position of myself and the members of my community clear.”
    Good luck, and trust me, we are all having the same headache.

    1. It is hard to find the right words when use when attempting to get an appointment. I think that when I attempt my first senator a second time I’ll try something like this: I wish to have an in person discussion with my Senator regarding how she views gun violence/safety legislation and how she plans to get around the second amendment.

      Thank you for your feedback.

      1. Generally, I already know where my Senators/Reps stand on most issues, and trying to get to talk to them is a waste of time in my book.
        But please keep trying, and phrase your issue in a way that will pique interest, not put them off. As in, do not approach an anti-gun Senator with “I want to talk about stopping gun control laws in their tracks.”
        Good luck, and thanks for your efforts.

  2. When I send emails to the two senators of my state of Arizona , I normally don’t get a response. When Kelly does respond , it’s usually a form letter ,not necessarily anything to do with my questions. He does write about what a hero he is.

    1. I have the same experience with NH congresscritters. It seems that none of them pay any real attention to what you write; they just have some AI (or low IQ staffer, same thing) do a casual scan for keywords and then reply with form letter #69.

  3. Pre-17th amendment, recourse with US Senators was engaging with your local state representative as states, not popular vote controlled US Senators. 17A was a big mistake.

  4. I used the GOA tool to email my (Florida) Senators. Both of whom, Rubio and Scott, are frickin’ weathervanes rather than stalwart protectors of the Constitution. I added my own text to the GOA email , adding “do not betray gun owners” in the title and in the body of the message I added “if you try to make friends with the leftist democrats, they will still never vote for you. But if you betray us with red flag laws, ‘universal background checks’ or the like, I will turn from your supporter into a dedicated opponent and will stay home in November when it’s time to vote”

    I have written them in years past to let them know how much supporting things like red flag laws irritates me, and have gotten the typical blow-off response from Rubio and Scott “I support the Constitution but…”
    fucking assholes, I wouldn’t piss on them if they were both on fire. And bad as they are, they are still 20x better than ANY democrat.

  5. Both of my senators are demonrats. (gov is Wretched Hitler. Any other questions?)
    I sent in a GOA form email, and (at least) Peters sent back a form e mail. From Stabenow? Crickets.

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