If you’re hurting like I am right now, thinking about the recent police violence that is happening across the country, but you have not yet contacted your elected representatives to make your voice heard, it’s time. Below I have compiled a list of resources to assist you in calling and writing to your federal, state, and local officials. The below only includes English language resources. My hope is to have an equivalent list in Spanish in the days to come. Now more than ever it is imperative that we make our voices heard. We can no longer afford to stay silent.
Write or Call the White House
Call the President
Visitor’s Office: 202-456-2121
Write a letter to the President
Here are a few simple things you can do to make sure your message gets to the White House as quickly as possible.
- If possible, email us! This is the fastest way to get your message to President Obama.
- If you write a letter, please consider typing it on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. If you hand-write your letter, please consider using pen and writing as neatly as possible.
- Please include your return address on your letter as well as your envelope. If you have an email address, please consider including that as well.
- And finally, be sure to include the full address of the White House to make sure your message gets to us as quickly and directly as possible:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Petition the White House on the Issues that Matter to You by clicking here
Write or Call The U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch at the Department of Justice
You can contact the attorney general here.
Correspondence to the Department, including the Attorney General, may be sent to:
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
The Department may be contacted by phone at the following:
- Department Comment Line: 202-353-1555
- Department of Justice Main Switchboard: 202-514-2000
Department of Justice components may also be contacted directly. Find their information on the Component Contact Information page.
How to Reach Your State Representatives
- To Find Out Who Your Congress Representatives and Senators are and how to contact them click here or here or here and search by your address and/or zip code.
- To contact your Federal, State, and Local Officials click here.
The More You Know:
Elected officials are a lot like the rest of us; they pay more attention to people they know than to strangers. So get to know them or members of their staffs, in person if possible and through regular emails, letters or phone calls to their offices if not. Here are some tips:
- Using their websites, find out if your member of Congress and your senators have offices in or near your community; most do. Drop by the local office and try to meet at least one person on the staff. Get the names of and contact info for staffers who work on issues of particular interest and then reach out to them online, by mail or on the phone. Make sure they know you’re a constituent, not some out-of-towner or out-of-stater.
- Most members of Congress have town hall meetings or make other public appearances when they’re not in Washington. Particularly in a large state, it can be tough to arrange a direct contact with a senator, but with a little effort you can speak directly to your congressman or congresswoman.
- Contacts with local officials and state legislators should be even easier. You can track down your state legislators’ local offices through their websites and you generally can get contact information for your city, county and town council members through the local government website, an online search engine or a phone directory.
EXAMPLES OF LETTERS AND PHONE SCRIPTS
Tips on telephoning Congress:
The phone numbers of the offices of your senators and representative are available on their websites. You can also call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your senators’ and/or representative’s office.
Remember that telephone calls are usually taken by a staff member, not the member of Congress. Ask to speak with the aide who handles the issue about which you wish to comment.
After identifying yourself, tell the aide you would like to leave a brief message, such as:
“Please tell Senator/Representative (Name) that I am calling in regard to the recent incidents of police violence that have occurred in Louisiana, Baton Rouge, & Dallas. People of color are disproportionately targeted and shot at and as a law abiding, tax paying citizen of color I would like to know what Senator/Representative (Name) is doing to ensure that all citizens are protected and treated equally in his/her district. Furthermore, I would like to know his/her position on police violence and what actions they are taking or have taken to ensure that unethical conduct of all law enforcement agencies in their district are being investigated and punished accordingly. My hope is that Senator/Representative (Name) draft and support a bill that ensures law enforcement officers are held accountable for their actions when they use unreasonable or excessive force. I look forward to Senator/Representative (Name) reply. Thank you for your time.
You may also request a written response to your telephone call.
SAMPLE CONGRESSIONAL LETTER
This is an example of a letter to a Representative or Senator. In an email sent from your Congressman’s website, you will fill out your contact information and submit the body of the letter in the message section. (You can copy the below and paste it into the body of an email or into a new document if you will be mailing the letter)
The Honorable ________
United States House of Representatives/United State Senate
City, State, Zip
Dear Representative/Senator ______________:
As a concerned citizen and constituent, the recent events of police violence that occurred in Baton Rouge and Minnesota are alarming. People of color are disproportionately targeted, shot at, and killed when compared to their White counterparts. As a law abiding, tax paying citizen of color I would like to express my concern about police violence. As the representative for our district it is imperative that you ensure the rights of all citizens who live here are protected and treated equally. In an era of viral video, body cameras and dash cams even when the incidents are caught on camera very rarely are the officers held accountable for their often unreasonable and excessive use of force.
In a time where there are increased tensions between law enforcement and the communities they serve, it is critical that our representatives take action to ensure that the rights of all constituents are protected. Specifically, I am interested in knowing your position on police violence, what actions you are taking or have taken to ensure that unethical conduct amongst law enforcement agencies in your district are being investigated and punished accordingly.
My hope is that as the Senator/Representative you are doing all you can to ensure law enforcement officers are being held accountable for their actions when they use unreasonable or excessive measures to subdue or detain citizens. Please make police violence a higher priority for our district and nation as a whole. Please work towards ensuring that legislation is passed that holds those who abuse their power accountable. If we are to grow as a community and nation we must restore the trust and respect between law enforcement and the communities they serve. We can no longer sit idle and count on existing legislation and policy when it comes to police misconduct. It is clear that the existing laws relative to police conduct no longer serve the best interest of the citizens they were originally designed to protect. Change must happen. Thank you for your consideration and please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this issue further.
Your City, State, Zip
Your Phone Number