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W. Va. legislators

January 11, 1998

West Virginia / Pennsylvania / Maryland

click the state or state name above to view detailed information for individual lawmakers.

Q. Is my opinion worth sharing?

Absolutely. Never forget, you hire and fire them. You pay their salaries. They know that, and they also know if they make you happy, you will be more likely to vote for them in the next election. Your vote counts just as much as anyone's. And politics aside, elected officials are presumably in office because they like serving people. Chances are they want to and will enjoy serving you.

Q. When do I write or call?

People most commonly call their lawmakers when they have a problem with service provided by state government. But it's also a good idea to call when you hear the state is anticipating action in an area that effects you.

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Lawmakers like to know how the people back home feel before voting on an issue. Many times, lawmakers only hear from you after action is taken and it's too late to change.

You can call to suggest a change in the way the state conducts business or to recommend a way to save the state money.

Also, if there's a program you like or an area where the state is doing a good job, let your lawmaker know.Your call might prevent the program from being subjected to future cuts.

Also, lawmakers like hearing the encouraging word now and then.

Q. What should I say?

Say exactly what you think, but be polite.

Don't threaten to vote for someone else if your representative disagrees with you.

If you have trouble writing, tell your thoughts to someone else and have them write them down. Explain what you like or dislike about the bill and why.

Be brief.

Be specific.

If you are writing about a specific bill, describe what it would do and include the bill number. You can get the number from legislative services in each capital. The numbers are below.

Personal letters work better than signing your name to a preprinted post card. Preprinted letters and cards say you don't care about the issue enough to write on your own.

West Virginia / Pennsylvania / Maryland

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