In a time when legislators are so inundated with emails that they can’t read them all, what’s old is new again. Go get yourselves some stamps and blank postcards.
I heard this from a state legislator this week as he handed me his card: “Oh, I never check my legislative email.” I hear that all the time, from legislators around the state. A legislative inbox at any given time can have hundreds and even thousands of messages. Any subject line that doesn’t include a hint that the sender is a constituent is likely to yield a quick “delete.”
So spoil your legislators. Write to them. Give them something to read besides bills.
My town has eight at-large state representatives. (One town nearby has 11. I got off easy.) I have their legislative email addresses, and I use them, but I’m planning to use postcards more this term.
I went to my local office supply store and bought a box of plain postcards – the kind that can go through a printer at home. I will be hand-writing messages, but the printer-style postcards are economical. I bought a roll of postcard stamps at the post office. I have the legislators’ home addresses thanks to the state web site. I’m good to go.
Why postcards instead of letters? Because they cost 35 cents to send rather than 55 cents, which is what first-class letter stamps now cost. Also, a postcard forces me to get my message across briefly.
Someone more organized than I would probably think to address a batch of postcards in advance. If that’s you, I salute you.
Phone calls to legislators are always in style, if that’s your preference. Ignoring a call is definitely harder than ignoring an email.
No matter how you reach out to your legislators, remember to keep your message brief, clear, and courteous. If you write it down and put a stamp on it, so much the better.
The 2019 New Hampshire legislative session will begin on January 2, less than two weeks away. It actually began when the reps were sworn in a few weeks ago, but the real fun begins in January. Get your communications toolkit ready. One important item to include: the state General Court web site (“General Court” is the formal name for our legislature, reps and senators alike). Head over to http://gencourt.state.nh.us.
Bookmark it. Study it. Find your reps on it. Make a note of their street addresses and email addresses and phone numbers. Poke around the General Court web site at your leisure and make yourself at home.
The web site for the New Hampshire Executive Council has not yet been updated with the winners of November’s election. Watch for the new names and contact information in January.
If you haven’t already done so, meet your state representatives and senator and executive councilor. Watch for them at local events, and introduce yourself. Let them get to know you. Make sure they know you’re a neighbor and you’re paying attention to what they do in office.
Make note of Governor Sununu’s office phone number: 603-271-2121.
I predicted a year ago that the New Hampshire House would lose 20 pro-life votes in the 2018 election. I was right about the election, and the losses were compounded by representatives who chose not to run again. (New Hampshire legislators are paid $100 per year, so making a living must take priority eventually.) All the more reason to keep handy the contact information for your newly-elected representatives. They might not be used to hearing from pro-life constituents. Prepare to expand their horizons.
As if it’s not obvious, this is a thoroughly unscientific poll. If the election were held today, how would you vote in New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race on November 4? Optional: leave a comment on this post about your choice. Share the poll on social media with your pro-life contacts. I want to hear from pro-life voters, although there’s no way to restrict participation by others. Let’s see if anything turns up here that’s not being reflected in campaign coverage so far.