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Contacting Members of Congress

What You Need to Know for Successful Outreach

How a Congressional Office Works

Each member of Congress has an office in Washington, and at least one state or district office. Some members have more than one state or district office depending on geography and population.

Congressional offices function differently, but staffing is similar across all offices, both in Washington and the state or district office.

Washington Offices

Every office typically has the following:

  • Chief of Staff: Oversees all functions of the office and handles issues of particular importance. Conducts political activities.
  • Legislative Director (LD): Manages the legislative agenda for the office.
  • Scheduler: Responsible for the schedule of the member of Congress.
  • Press Secretary: Manages inquiries from the media and sends out press releases.
  • Legislative Assistant or Aide (LA): Handles some legislative issues and maintains own schedule.
  • Legislative Correspondent (LC): Responsible for responding to mail, email and faxes sent to the member of Congress.
  • Staff Assistant: Typically responsible for constituent services such as providing tours of the Capitol and answering the phone.

State or District Offices

Every office typically has the following:

  • State or District Director: Oversees the functions of the office and responsible for oversight of state or district operations.
  • Scheduler: Responsible for the schedule of the member of Congress in their home state or district.
  • Caseworker: Responsible for solving problems between constituents and the federal government. Typical areas of casework include Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and other federal programs.
  • Staff Assistant: Typically responsible for constituent services such as answering the phone.
Who to Contact & How

Who are your elected officials?

If you don’t know who represents your organization and the individuals you support, you can look up your members of Congress using your address.

You might be surprised to learn how many members of Congress you influence! Any district in which you operate, and where you or your employees live, is a district in which you hold sway.

Who should you contact?

Who you contact in the member’s office depends on what you hope to accomplish.

If you want to:

  • Schedule a meeting: Contact the scheduler in the state, district or Washington office to arrange a meeting with the member of Congress, or contact the legislative assistant who handles the issue you want to talk about at the meeting.
  • Ask for co-sponsorship of a bill or support/opposition to an issue: Contact the legislative assistant in Washington who handles the issue. If you don’t know who that is, just call the Washington office and ask.
  • Ask for a site visit: Contact the state or district director or caseworker who handles your issues. They can help get the ball rolling for the site visit.
  • Give an award to your member of Congress: Contact the press secretary to coordinate a press release with the information. Work with the scheduler to arrange a presentation and photo opportunity. You should also follow up with the chief of staff or other staff members with whom you have a relationship.