Write/Phone your Representative
The most fundamental action is simply to contact your representative (or an aide) in support or opposition on a specific issue or bill. This can be written through regular mail, email, or verbally over the phone. It's just as important to contact Republicans. When writing, put the letter in your own words, about one topic, and keep in under one page (2-3 paragraphs).
The following links provide additional tips (from various groups) about letter writting and contacting your representative.
How a Bill Becomes Law
This is the general process followed in Congress and Salem.
- Introduction: Bill drafted and introduced by a member of the legislature. Other Legislator's can sign on as cosponsors. A large number of cosponsor's is often important in moving a bill.
- Committee Review: The bill sent to and reviewed by a legislative committee, it must pass here before it can get a floor vote, most bills die in committee.
Committee's often hold hearings to gather public and expert opinions on their bills, testifying before a committee (or getting your representative to do so) gives a bill momentum.
Know the committees your representative serves on because it is here where they have their greatest impact.
- Floor vote Bill must be approved on the House and Senate Floor.
- Conference Committee The House and Senate versions of a bill usually differ, the conference committee merges these bills into a unified bill.
- Final Floor vote Both legislative chambers must approve the unified bill before its sent to the governor, or preseident (Chief Executive).
- Chief Executive Approval The bill becomes law if the Chief executive approves it. If they veto it the legislature can override the veto with a super majority (2/3 vote). In Salem, the legislature or governor can by-pass each other and send a measure directly to voters as a referendum.
Lobbying US Congress
Review these links to monitor your representatives or track specific issues.