This New Website Makes It Easy To Communicate With Your Elected Representatives

Even if you hate talking on the phone.

In the weeks following one of the largest public demonstrations in recent memory, it can be hard to keep the momentum of that day going. For most people there just isn't enough spare time — or witty signs — to protest every week. But one website is helping individuals take real action more impactful than a retweet or Facebook post.

Founded by a group of five volunteers, the website 5 Calls lists issues that are currently being debated. It also asks for users' zip codes and gives them the names and phone numbers of the legislators who could prevent or amend such measures. Nervous about making your point on the call? No worries. The site routinely assembles a new list of current legislative topics and provides a one-minute script on each issue to ensure an impactful interaction with congressional staff members. 

For example, this week, people who live in Brooklyn-based zip codes who would like to speak about the environmental impact of the Keystone Pipeline are encouraged to call the Army Corps of Engineers. Anyone who wants to oppose Besty deVos' nomination for secretary of education are provided with their senator's office number.



Congressional staffers are among the first to admit that calling is one of the most effective ways to influence an elected representative. 

"We've talked to a number of staffers working in these offices that have repeated that this is the most effective way to influence their actions on the floor, and the earlier in the process you can reach out the better," said Nick O'Neill, one of the founds of 5 Calls. "It can definitely swing opinions for your representative, provided you reach them early enough. Constituents still have great power, they've just forgotten how to show it between elections."

In a series of tweets last November, former staff member Emily Ellsworth talked about the impact that resulted from a local radio DJ giving out a congressional office's phone number on air.

"It was exhausting and you can bet my bosses heard about it," she wrote. "We had discussions because of that call to action."

As of publication, almost 200,000 calls have been made using the site.

Cover image via  Rob Crandall / Shutterstock, Inc..

(H/T: Mashable)

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