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There are many ways to contact your legislator, but a good rule of thumb is that the more effort it takes from you, the more effective your attempt will be. Some of the strategies include: email and phone calls, regular mail, and in-office meetings.
Go to www.ilchiro.org and click the “Politics and Policy” tab at the top. Select “Find My Elected Officials” and enter your own information.
Due to the ease and speed of sending an email, one legislative aide said that her Representative can receive 100 – 200 emails a day. When hot button issues, such as union concerns, are being discussed, this number can be much higher. During those times, emails often turn into tally marks that are reported when the bill comes up for a vote. Other times, you may get a response back from a legislator or staffer thanking you or asking for more information. Always feel free to redirect any questions you are not comfortable answering back to the ICS office.
Contacting your legislators while they are in their home districts considerably increases your chances of speaking to them directly. You can call any through the Capitol Switchboard at (217) 782-2000 and ask for the legislator by name. When your elected officials are in Springfield, their schedules are booked with committee hearings, floor debates, and countless meetings. Always ask the legislative aide the best way to get in contact with your official, and if possible, try to reach them in the “off-season” (June- December).
Most legislators will take the time to read a personal letter from one of their constituents. Again, contact their offices to identify the best way to get your letter into their hands – it can vary for each official. Remember to identify yourself as living or practicing in their district and keep your letter concise.
Call ahead and make an appointment! Remember, you elected them to do a job – not wait around their office with nothing to do. Many of our chiropractic physicians have been able to schedule 5 minutes just to introduce themselves and say hello, while others have gotten 20 minutes at a nearby coffee shop during the day. Again, this is best done either during a legislative break or in the offseason. When scheduling a meeting, please tell the legislative assistant what issues you would like to discuss. This helps the legislator be prepared to have an informed discussion.
Legislators will often have events and fundraisers in their home districts. This is a great opportunity to get dedicated one on one time with your official – after all, you’re a voter who cares enough to contribute to the campaign. Notify the ICS if you have plans of attending, we might supplement your donation to raise you from a guest to the level of a more esteemed sponsor.