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CAPITOL HILL 101 GRASSROOTS LOBBYING What is the Definition of Grassroots Lobbying? In the news, we hear about professional lobbyists who attempt to influence legislation and policy through various means. Grassroots lobbying is when everyday citizens contact their legislators to influence legislation and policy. Advocacy groups of all kinds engage in grassroots lobbying, inviting people to call and write their legislators when appropriate. Anyone can pick up the phone and ask their senator to support or oppose a pending bill. Why Should I contact My Legislators? It’s important to let your legislators know where you stand on a bill, because the number of letters on each side of an issue will frequently influence how a legislator will vote. Grassroots lobbying is very effective because the legislators are hearing directly from their constituency, who will be voting when the legislator seeks re-election. How Do I Contact Legislators? In the past a hand-written letter was most effective. However, for security purposes, all letters to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives are now pre-screened before being deliver to congressional offices, which means that all letters are delayed.