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How to make your views known to members of the General Assembly.
You can find the contact information for your delegate and senator on the Find My Representatives Page. You can use that info to contact them and ask them to support or not to support certain legislation of interest to you. This is their job, to represent you in the General Assembly.
Just contacting two people may not make much of a difference in what happens at the assembly. If you wish to make a difference you need to track bills of interest and then get in touch with the members of the committee that are going to make important decisions on those bills. You can find the members of any committee by going to this link http://leg1.state.va.us/021/com/COM.HTM and clicking on the committee. You can look up their contact info at http://leg1.state.va.us/021/mbr/MBR.HTM and then call, fax or email them or you can make arrangements to speak to the committee to get your viewpoint heard. Things move quickly in the assembly so writing a letter is not a good option if the bill is in committee.
You can call each member of the committee to express your concerns. Call a member's number and ask to speak to their legislative aide. Be sure to speak clearly and tell the bill number, a brief description of the bill, why you are for or against it and ask them to communicate your concerns to the representative. Be prepared to answer questions. If you are asked for your address or phone number give it to them, you might get a call or thank you letter from the representative.
I think calling is the most effective way of communicating your concerns. If you wish you can email or fax a letter. Be sure to use the tips below for writing to your representative.
If you write, email or fax a representative be sure to spell and grammar check everything carefully. It's a good idea to have someone else read over your letter. You may email your letter to the president of your council for his advice. Councils may also provide sample letters.
Be sure to follow the form of the sample letter. Other tips:
- The address should begin "The Honorable First Last Name"
- Begin the letter: "Dear Delegate Name" or "Dear Senator Name"
- List bill number
- Be brief and to the point
- Tell why you feel the way you do about your concern or the bill
- Thank them for their help