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How to Get Your Needs Heard: Contacting Your State Legislators
Have you ever thought of an issue concerning the Georgia government that you think could be resolved if only the ambiguous “they” did something different? For example, you’ve found the solution to making Atlanta traffic better, and you tell your friends, spouse or a neighbor. But … nothing changes. “They” never figure out your brilliant discovery.
How do you get your idea into action?
Or, what if you have a problem? What if you've repeatedly had trouble getting food stamps? How do you get your needs heard?
The solution to both scenarios: Contact your elected representatives and senators.
The Georgia General Assembly (made up of the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia State Senate) holds the power in our state to create, change or get rid of current laws. They make the decisions about how things are run in Georgia.
They also represent you.
That’s why it's important for you to tell your elected officials what your needs are and what Georgia state government can provide for you. They are your lifeline to the Georgia Legislature.
You can head over to the State House and Senate websites, where you can find your legislator's contact information - phone number, email and address - along with other important information. Most of their pages even have a short bio about who they are.
If you're not a registered voter and if you want to know who your state elected officials are, you can go to the Open States website, which is sponsored by the Sunshine Foundation, a nonpartisan organization. There you’ll find who your state legislators are, what committees they’re in and what bills they manage. You can also try searching for your legislators on the Project Vote Smart website, where you can find every person who represents you on the federal, state and local levels.
Don't forget about social media. The majority of all state legislators have at least a Facebook or Twitter account. While these accounts may not be regulated as often as their email or phones, most state representatives and senators can communicate with constituents on these social media platforms. If your legislator has any social media presence, you'll find it on his or her House or Senate page.
If you're not a social media kind of person, most representatives and senators post articles and press releases in their local newspapers. So be sure to pick up the latest issue during the session to find out what they are doing.
About the Author
Bethany McDaniel is the Interactive Web Content Manager for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, GA with degrees in Visual Communication and History.