The Tidal Basin in Washington DC, with the Washington Memorial and Jefferson Memorial in the background.

Contact elected officials

Contacting your elected officials

Good science policy is informed by good science. Earth and space science, in particular, informs many national policies today – including those related to sustainable energy, climate change, natural resources, and natural hazard mitigation – so it’s vital that scientists share the value of science with their legislators. If you don’t have time for an in-person visit with your elected officials, either in their home district or in Washington, D.C., you can speak out by calling or writing. We offer tips and tools to help you make sure your message is impactful and that your voice is heard.

Visit our Policy Action Center

AGU’s Policy Action Center makes it easy for you to contact your legislators about important science policy issues.

Act Now

Do your homework

To identify your legislator, you can use the Find Your Representative tool or Search for Your Senators by state. Once you identify your members of Congress, the best place to find their contact information is on their website.

When calling an office, ask to speak to the science staffer or the staffer whose portfolio includes environment, energy, or space as appropriate. To send an email, use the form provided on the website of the office. Before you reach out, do your research by reviewing the member’s biography, issues page, press releases, and how they voted on recent legislation. Most of this can be done on their website.

Another good place to research your legislators is, where you can view any legislation that your member has authored, sponsored, and co-sponsored. If you know the title or bill number, you can read a short plain-English summary of the bill and monitor what stage the bill is at in the legislative process.

CVD Participants— Karen Paczkowski, Brandon Honore (Rep. DeLauro), Suzanne OConnell

Draft your message

Whether you’re reaching out by phone or writing an email, take some time to draft the key points you want to get across. Our Sharing Science messaging worksheet is a helpful tool. We also have a sample phone script and sample letter to get you started. Other tips for framing your message include:
  • 1
    Identify yourself as a scientist and, if applicable, a constituent.
  • 2
    Specify the policy issue or bill you are contacting them about.
  • 3

    If applicable, thank them for their past work on this or another issue.

  • 4

    Tell them what you want them to do about (support or oppose) the issue or bill.

  • 5

    Provide additional details about why they should support or oppose an issue or bill and how their district will be negatively or positively affected by it.

  • 6

    Offer to be a resource on this issue.

  • 7
    Thank them for their consideration and let them know you will follow up with them as the issue moves forward.
Woman smiling at computer

Follow up

If you do not hear from the science staffer or the office within a few weeks, call or write again, letting them know this is your second time reaching out. If your issue or bill is being considered by a committee, is going to be voted on, or begins to appear in the news, follow-up with the office to reiterate your position and what you would like your legislator to do.
man smiling and typing on computer