You don’t have to be an expert to be an advocate. You probably talk to your friends and family around the dinner table about issues impacting young people in Allegheny County. Perhaps you speak out about inequalities in education or inadequacies in health care. Why not continue the conversation with lawmakers? By putting your words on paper–or in an email, elected leaders listen, especially when they hear the same message from dozens of others. You can also join us when we rally at the state capitol or go on local legislative visits. Follow these simple steps to contact a lawmaker.
1. Find the Right Representative
Use the search tool to determine the state representatives and state senator for your neighborhood. Often, media reports identify the elected leader connected to a particular issue. The U.S. Senate website provides a list of all senators along with their Washington, D.C. addresses, and the U.S. House of Representatives site does the same. If you choose to write something about your child’s school, send a copy of the letter to the board of education president in your child’s school district.
2. Properly Address Letter
Write “The Honorable” in front of a senator or representative’s name. Use the state capitol office address. Identify yourself as a constituent, and include your name, address and contact information.
3. Be Direct
Clearly identify the topic you are writing about, and make your point in one or two paragraphs. State if you support or oppose a particular policy or bill, and what you want done. If possible, include a personal experience about the issue.
4. Accurately Refer to the Legislation and its Current State
Refer to legislation by number and title. For example, if you are writing about the Medicare Access and CHIP Re-authorization Act of 2015, include H.R. 2. It is also important to understand the current status of a piece of legislation in the Pennsylvania legislative process.
Tweet Elected Officials
Twitter provides direct and immediate access to decision- and policy makers, and it allows you to engage in two-way conversations with people who would otherwise be hard to reach. You can set up an account by watching our Twitter tutorial video. Once you secure your handle, reach out and urge the governor and legislators to prioritize children in all policy discussions. Below, you’ll find a list of Allegheny County elected officials who tweet.
Governor Tom Wolf:@GovernorTomWolf
PA House of Representatives
PA Senate Senate Republicans
Senate Republicans: @PASenateGOP
Senate Democrats: @PASenateDems
Adam Ravenstahl: @RepRavenstahl
Anthony M. DeLuca
Bill Kortz: @RepBillKortz
Dan Frankel: @RepDanFrankel
Dan Miller: @RepDanMiller
Daniel J. Deasy
Edward Gainey: @RepGainey
Eli Evankovich: @RepEvankovich
Frank Dermody: @RepFrankDermody
Jake Wheatley: @RepWheatley
Joe Markosek: @RepJoeMarkosek
John A. Maher: @RepJohnMaher
Marc Gergely: @RepMarcGergely
Mike Turzai: @RepTurzai
Robert F. Matzie