Tips for Contacting your Elected Officials

A few weeks ago, after our presentation on the Texas border crisis, many of you were saddened to learn of the deprivation and fear faced by asylum-seekers. Others were upset to learn that there are not enough respite centers or civic assistance. As more refugees seek the safety of the United States, the need for a more humane border control process and aid to asylum seekers will continue to grow.

The presentation prompted a great desire among parishioners to “do something.” One thing we urged you to do was to contact your elected officials with your concerns about the refugee crisis at the Texas Border. Here’s a brief guide on how to do that.

First, find out who your elected federal, state, and local officials are. You can go on-line to discover your congressional district. (See below).

Next, do your homework. Research. Plan out the issues you want to discuss and be prepared to discuss specific points. Make sure your position is clearly stated. If you’re unclear, it can also be helpful to call and simply ask what your representative’s position is, or if they support or oppose particular bills or legislation. You can then respond by affirming their position, or noting where you disagree with them.

There are many ways to contact your representatives. You can email, write a letter, make a telephone call or plan a visit. I have to give my congressman credit -- I received a phone call from Kenny Marchant’s Washington office the day after I sent him an email about the need for more respite centers and judicial officials to clear the overloaded dockets. I spoke at length with his assistant, Ryan, who was very pleasant and listened to my concerns. I felt like I had done some good, as he did not understand the difference between a “holding pen” and a respite center, and that needed to be clarified for my letter to make any sense! You can be sure I will be continuing that conversation!

Finally, here are some websites that may prove helpful:

National representation:
https://whoismyrepresentative.com/

Texas representation:
https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home

www.whitehouse.gov
(White House switchboard #202-456-1414)
www.house.gov/representatives
www.senate.gov
www.usa.gov
www.aclu.org

Make your concerns KNOWN. You CAN make a difference!

Blessings,
Mother Marci+