Each week the AIT community receives #TakeActionTuesday with tips for creating impactful change in their community and beyond. From new online tools, to pending policy updates, subscribe today to make sure you don’t miss these action-oriented recommendations.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and many of us are preparing to send messages of appreciation to our loved ones near and far. This year, add a message to Congress to your outbox, and use this opportunity to let your legislators know which issues matter most to you and how they can take action on your behalf.

Sending a well-crafted email to your legislators’ offices is one of the best ways to influence their issue positions and upcoming actions. According to the Congressional Management Foundation, email messages are significantly more effective (and faster!) than sending physical mail. But, it is important to include certain details to ensure that your message is impactful and your “ask” is clear.

This Take Action Tuesday, send an effective email message to your Congressional representatives by following the steps below.

  • Track Upcoming Legislation. Monitor upcoming legislation in order to see what is currently being considered by Congress, and where various bills are in the legislative process. Use this information to inform which actions you ask your legislators to take.
  • Create A Clear Ask. The most important part of any message to Congress is the “ask”—what you are asking your Congressperson to do. This should be one clear sentence shaped around what Congress can do: make a statement, vote a certain way, sponsor a bill, or introduce new legislation. If you are discussing a particular bill, include the bill number in your ask.
  • Tell Your Personal Impact Story. Messages to Congress are most impactful when they include personal stories told by constituents. In your message, include a brief paragraph that details your personal connection to the issue you are discussing. How has this issue impacted your life or the lives of those in your community? How does this issue impact your district as a whole, and how is this impact evidenced?

What strategies do you use when contacting your representatives in Congress? Tell us at info@aitogether.org.