Dear Trout Unlimited,
I am a grateful member of your organization and deeply appreciate the work you’re doing to keep public lands intact. But, I would like to suggest that you rally your base in a different way. Context below.
Who Are We?
I’m one of four writers for a blog at BlogFlyFish.com. We are run by volunteers. In a short period of time, we currently are on a run rate to have 200,000+ page views a year, all through word-of-mouth and organic search.
One of us already has written a great post about the current public land transfer initiative. Link here.
I appreciate TU’s link that lets us easily email our elected representative. But, I read some advice online from a D.C. insider that emails are useless.
I’ll copy the data at the bottom of the post, but, the short answer is that this individual recommends calling a Congress-person’s local office. Don’t email, don’t Tweet, and don’t call the D.C. office. Call the local one.
My Two Cents
So, my suggestions are as follows:
- Can TU modify its web site to show the local office numbers for Congress?
- How about a “calling campaign,” whereby you pick a day or a week and encourage your members to call and overwhelm a local office’s capacity?
- How about we all call Rep. Chaffetz’s local office on a particular day? The number there in Provo, UT, is (801) 851-2500.
I hope that we can rally the resources to keep public lands as a public good.
Thank you for listening….
Here is the information from the D.C. insider:
I see a lot of you saying that you’ve written to your Congressmen about this and I wanted to let you know that emails and letters to Congress are rather useless in changing their minds on policy issues.
If you really want to make a difference you need to make an actual phone call. It’s best to call the local state offices, not the ones in D.C. Letters and email are generally just glanced at for certain keywords to let the person know what issue you’re writing about, then you’re usually sent a form letter reply (for emails this is actually done with computer algorithms). With most Congressmen, Senators especially, they just get too many letters and emails to really take in the substance of the concerns.
Phone calls actually tie up a person for the entire duration of the call, which if you take the time to explain yourself can be quite a while. And if the Congressman walks through the phone room while all the interns are on calls and the phone is still ringing, they’ll know something big is up.
The offices in D.C. mostly just have interns and very low level staffers answering the phones, because that’s the office that most people call. If you call one of the local offices, you’re more likely to get someone other than an intern, and they’ll be better positioned to push your message. If enough people keep calling a local office, there’s a good chance you can tie up the staff on the phones for much of the day, and you can be sure the Congressman will hear about that.