CAPITOL HILL 101
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.