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updated: 10/7/2013 9:26 AM

Make your voice heard!

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  • Missey Wilhelm, president, Wheaton League of Women Voters

      Missey Wilhelm, president, Wheaton League of Women Voters

 
By Missey Wilhelm

The Illinois General Assembly will be back in session Oct. 22-24 and again in November. Recently, when I had an opportunity to ask citizens if they had contacted their legislators about any particular piece of legislation or any issues in general, most answered one of two ways: "I don't have enough time" or "I don't really know how."

If you think you don't have enough time to contact your representative in the General Assembly, try "one-minute lobbying." When time is short, a telephone call or email is a quick and simple way to take action. Below are some samples of how this can be done.

To find out who represents you in Springfield, go to:

www.elections.il.gov and click on the box near the bottom of the page that says "District/Official Search." When you type in your address, you'll find contact information for state and federal elected officials.

Call your legislator:

Receptionist: Good morning. Senator (name of legislator's) office.

You: Hi, my name is Jane/John Q. Public and I live at 100 Main Street in Hometown.

Receptionist: How may I help you?

You: I am calling to urge my senator to vote for Senate Bill 123, which (say what the bill would do). I think (give your opinion of the bill).

Receptionist: I will let the senator know.

You: Thank you.

End of call.

Email your legislator:

To: emailaddress

Dear Senator (name of your legislator),

I am sending this email today to ask you to (support, oppose) Senate Bill 123, (say what the bill would do). I think (give your opinion of the bill), and I (support, disagree with) your effort in bringing this legislation to the General Assembly.

Thank you.

Jane Q. Public, 100 Main Street, Hometown, IL 60457

Next week: Tips for communicating with your legislators

• Missey Wilhelm is president of the League of Women Voters of Wheaton.

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