From the Right Use of Technology Department: It has never been easier to contact your elected officials…
Originally published 2005
To find contact information for your elected official, iust go to the People for the American Way web site at http://www.capwiz.com/pfaw.
Once you’re there, enter your zip code and choose “Find All Your Elected Officials”. There are also choices for state officials, local officials, candidates, the media, and pending legislation — for all but the last, your zip code gives you the list of people and organizations that makes sense for you.
That’s the first step — finding out who to contact. But it gets better. When you go to the page has lists your officials, you get a picture along with the link, so you stand a chance of recognizing them, even if haven’t kept track of who got elected in your district.
The really cool part, is the “one click” option to send a message. When you choose that option, you get a list of checkboxes, so you can choose who the message goes to. So you only have to type in your message once to send it to everyone up and down the chain of command.
After you fill in your name, address, and other contact information, you can also choose the “remember me” option, so that information is filled in automatically for future messages.
Basically, this is a web site done RIGHT. I have pretty high standards for such things. If there is a flaw in the interface, I’ll tell you. With this one, the only minor observation I have is that the “one click” choice says it will send a message to all of your elected officials, instead of saying “to one or more”. Because of that little oversight, you don’t know that you’ll have a list to choose from until you get there.(But that’s a pretty trivial complaint. I’ve seen web sites from major corporations that have presumably spent millions of dollars, with many more egregious violations of human factors design than that.)
The bottom line is that it has never been easier to contact your elected officials and tell them what you think. Put in your zip code, get a list, and bookmark that page. While you’re at it, bookmark a list of media contacts, as well, so you can sound off to the press when you’ve got a gripe!
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