Easily Phone An Entire Congressional Committe

Committee Caller is a free service that lets you easily call an entire congressional committee. Just select the House or Senate committee, or subcommittee, and entire your phone number. Click the “put me in touch with democracy” button to activate. The system then calls you after it’s connected your call to that representatives front office. Press asterisk to end the call. Then rate the call by pressing 0-5, 5 being the best, and the system moves on to calling the next committee member. A neat way to make your voice heard, (like telling them to support the Arbitration Fairness Act), though our primer on writing to Congress is pretty great, too.

Committee Caller [via BoingBoing]

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  1. num1skeptic says:

    i’m skeptical about this……

  2. Ramu says:

    Members of Congress generally only talk to the constituents they represent. If you rant to a staffer or an intern who answers the phone, and you don’t live in the district they represent, they will simply let you rant and not follow up. If you send them a letter, they will forward it to the member who represents you. It doesn’t matter what committee they are on. If you call the actual committee, they will simply tell you to call your own rep. That’s what representative democracy is all about.

  3. kepler11 says:

    The best way to get yourself heard as an individual is to write a clearly personal and sensible letter to the representative you’re interested in reaching. I can tell you that when you call an office, your call, no matter how long or how thoughtful, is written down as a tick mark on one side of a column keeping track of an issue, by a secretary. You need to provide the staff with something to read, store, and think over, in order to have any chance of an effect. And not those form letter website spam campaigns either.

    The 2nd best way is to associate yourself with a reputable interest group, so that many people can pool their resources and stake in an issue to make themselves heard more effectively.

  4. BrianH says:

    Kepler is absolutely right. I know from first-hand experience in IL and CA. Talk to the local representative, he/she is supposed to be monitoring the pulse of the community.

    Have you ever heard the expression “Do a good job, I’ll tell 5 people. Do a bad job, I’ll tell 100.” Well, pretend you’re a politician who at some point needs to be re-elected. Suddenly the “squeaky wheel” approach makes sense.

    But also as Kepler said, don’t write like an 11 year old on the internet. Be direct, concise, coherent, persuasive, and in search of a solution.

  5. cuiusquemodi says:

    @Ramu: Representative democracy is all about doing whatever the constituents of whoever happens to score themselves a committee chairmanship is all about? :)

  6. LoLoAGoGo says:

    @Ramu: SO TRUE!
    @Kepler11: I wish that a hand written note/polite phone call would do it, but sadly, if you’re not from the district those get thrown out as well. Interns sort through it and don’t 1. have time to read/listen everything, 2. most don’t give a shit (I know I didn’t when I was an intern), and 3. don’t have any influence on what the Member does. The process isn’t fair, even to constituents. Interest groups occasionally work, but again, they only really matter if you can prove residence, and again, staff tend not to give a shit because 90% of the time the Member has already taken a position.

  7. How do you “entire” your phone number? Or was the enter your entire phone number?

  8. elisa says:

    yeah I was an intern for a lil’ while…we count up the calls/emails/letters, but if you’re not represented by us, we didn’t care. We’d forward your letter, but that was about it. The rep I worked for did look at the tallies to see how many were contacting us about this issue or that issue, though.

    And even letters rarely get passed on, but yes you have a greater chance to be paid attention to than phone calls. Emails are the most disposable.

    Interest groups – we would meet with them on request, but usually a L.A. (Legislative Assistant), very rarely the Member. They’re just super-busy people. But, L.A.s are very very knowledgeable, and if they take up your cause, they can help you a lot. So don’t be disheartened if you are heard by an L.A. instead of the Member.

  9. Nissan288 says:

    Sometimes it’s the L.A.’s that know more than the Member on certain topics…generally they are the ones that do all the work and research into things for the Member (I worked for a Congressman and Senator, both of which were tech heavy). I can also vouch for everything that has been said before. I can see this working for a large group of people but that’s only because a group can make a big set of ticks and that gets noticed by the L.A.s.