When an organization like Jane’s Due Process says, “Call your Rep! Call your Senator!” you might feel nervous if you’ve never done it before. The organization will usually give you a reason to call — like, “Tell them to oppose abortion restrictions!!” or, “Tell them to vote yes on HB 3369!” But what does that process look like?
It’s pretty simple. First, you’ll find your state Rep or Senator’s contact info. You can google “who represents me?” or visit this webpage to find out. Remember, if it’s a senate bill (SB), you’ll be calling your state Senator. If it’s a house bill (HB) you’ll be calling your state Representative. Also remember that there are federal Senators and Reps — make sure you’re calling your state-level representatives when talking about Texas legislative policy.
Figure out what you’re calling about. Let’s say you want them to vote NO on SB 8, a bill to ban abortion at 6 weeks. Then you’ll be calling your state Senator and saying that. You might also think up the reasons why you oppose the bill to share that with your Senator as well. So come up with a little script for yourself beforehand. In this case you might say,
“Hi, I’m Barbara, and I live in Senator Judy’s district. I am calling to ask the Senator to vote NO on SB 8, which would ban abortion at 6 weeks. This bill would essentially ban all abortion and further harm marginalized Texans already facing so many barriers to abortion access. I want my Senator to protect and expand abortion access and vote NO on SB 8.”
Make sure to say your name, and make sure to tell the person taking your call that you live in the Senator’s district. The person answering the phone may have questions to clarify what you’re asking. Then thank the person who took your call for taking your messages and passing it along to the Senator.
If you get a voicemail, just leave all of that in a message.
No matter which way you assume your Senator or Representative is going to vote, it’s good to call them and tell them what you think about bills. It let’s them know that you’re watching what is happening. If you think they’ll be supportive of your position, it lets them know that you want them to fight hard. And if they oppose your position, it can be a way to signal to them that something is popular in their district and they should reconsider. Plus this is democracy, and you get to have your voice heard by the people elected to represent you!