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A Quick Guide to Practicing Advocacy at Home - Previous Revision

by Clarissa West-White
Florida Council of Teachers of English

Many NCTE members would like to become more involved in advocacy, but cannot attend NCTE’s annual Advocacy Day in D.C. The following steps and resources will assist you in being an "at-home" advocate.

First, you will need to locate your Senators and your Representative in the House. Go to the House of Representatives website to locate your Representative and to the Senators webpage to locate your Senator.

Second, you’ll want to know how to contact your Member of Congress. For Members of the House, go to the Write Your Representative subpage to email your Representative.  For Senators, use the web form listed on the Senators webpage.

Want to make a more personal connection with your Senators and Representative?  You can by writing a letter and faxing it to their D.C. office or by calling and speaking to one of their legislative staffers. Their D.C. office address and contact numbers are posted on their personal websites.  Should you call, ask to speak to the staffer responsible for education, but be prepared to leave a short but detailed message if the staffer is unavailable.

Now that you know how to contact your Senator and House Representative, what will you say? Need help drafting a letter? There are tips for how to do so on the NCTE website. Here you will find tips on telephoning, writing and emailing your elected representatives, including how to address correspondence.

Finally, from NCTE you’ll find more information in the Links for Contacting Policymakers and Following Legislation.


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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts