Your call should be short and focused. Phone calls can be left after business hours. Both messages and live calls will be logged, tallied, and made a part of a record that senators use to determine what issue their constituents think are important. Call as frequently as possible in order to get your voice heard.
Step 1. Dial the Capitol Switch Board at 202-224-3121 to be connected with your senator’s office.
You will be directed to an operator at the Capitol Switchboard. This switchboard can direct you to both senators as well as representatives. Once the operator answers, ask to be connected to whomever you are trying to reach. They will send you to your senator’s or representative’s office line, and a legislative assistant will answer the phone.
Step 2. Speak to your senator or his/her representative as follows:
Hello, my name is ____________________.
I am a constituent of Senator ___________.
I live in _____ (City/Town) in ___________( State).
I am calling about Senate Resolution_______.
Can I speak to the staff handing this resolution?
(once connected to staff handling the resolution ask )
May I have your name?
I am calling to urge Senator _________________ to cosponsor the Cardin Resolution 432 called Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia sponsored by the Maryland Senator Ben Cardin.
Step 3. Tell them why you want your senator to cosponsor this resolution.
I am concerned about the human rights violations currently being committed by the Ethiopian government against students and protesters in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Since November of 2015, the Ethiopian government has killed hundreds of Oromo protesters and jailed thousands of others for peacefully resisting its plan to confiscate and displace thousands of Oromo farmers. The violent treatment of those who practice legitimate forms of resistance indicates a general breakdown of governance in Ethiopia. This crisis should be a concern of everyone who wants to see stability in Ethiopia and in the region. Without a strong rebuke from the U.S. government, Ethiopia will continue kill and forcefully detain peaceful protesters and dissenting voices in the country.
Step 4. Tell them what you want your senator to do.
I ask that Senator ________________ cosponsor the Cardin Resolution 432 to pressure the Ethiopian government to: allow peaceful protests in the Oromia region, to release jailed protesters, and to institute democratic reforms in a country.
Thank you for your time.
Step 5. Repeat