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Advocacy Toolkit

Use these tools and tips to make a difference on the issues that matter to you.

Click here to find out who represents you in the United States House of Representatives. Find your town on the dropdown menu, and click GO!

Click here to find out who represents you in the United States Senate. Select your state from the dropdown menu to see your Senators.

 

Click here to find out who represents you in the New Hampshire House and the New Hampshire Senate. Find your town on the dropdown menu, and click GO!

When you reach out to your legislator, remember:

  1. Email is fine – but telephone calls and snail mail are better.
  2. Most legislators provide their home telephone numbers and welcome calls at home. If your legislator has listed a home phone number, you can use it.
  3. It’s fine to call during the evening or on the weekend, but be respectful – don’t call too late or too early!
  4. Start by introducing yourself with your full name and where you live in their district, for example: “My name is Jane Doe and I live on Main Street in Concord.”
  5. Tell your legislator why you’re calling. Make a specific request, for example: “I want you to vote for the budget because it includes important investments in child care” or “I’d like you to support legislation to raise the minimum wage.” Explain why this issue is important to you, and what you know about it.
  6. Always thank your legislator for talking with you and for serving in the Legislature.
  7. If you get voicemail or an answering machine, leave a message and make sure to ask for a call back.

Click here to find a NH bill by number or title.

In New Hampshire, every single bill receives a public hearing in a legislative Committee and an up-or-down vote in the House of Representatives, the Senate, or both. Committees use the public hearings to gather information to use in making a recommendation to the full House or full Senate. Members of the public are welcome to attend public hearings to observe or speak. Speaking at a public hearing can make a big impact! Here are some tips to help you prepare to attend a public hearing:

  1. Public hearings are announced in the House calendar and the Senate calendar. The hearing notice will include the date, time, and Committee room. Hearings are held in the State House and the Legislative Office Building, which is at 33 North State Street (across the street from the back side of the State House).
  2. You are free to come and go as you please during public hearings (for example if you need to use the bathroom or get a drink of water). You may use your electronic device, on silent mode, in the Committee room. Usually only water is allowed in the Committee room.
  3. In the House, you sign up to speak by filling out a small pink card which will be available in the Committee room. If you don’t want to speak but do want to register your opinion, you can do so on a blue sheet of paper that will also be available in the Committee room.
  4. In the Senate, there is one white sheet of paper that is used to register your opinion and sign up to speak. It will be available in the Committee room.
  5. The Committee Chair runs the hearing. The Chair will call on the bill sponsor first, and then typically on other legislators. Some hearings wrap up after a few minutes while others last for many hours.
  6. Start your testimony by greeting the Committee, for example you can say “Good morning, Madam Chair and Members of the Committee.” Next, introduce yourself by saying your name and either where you live or what organization you represent.
  7. The rest of your testimony should explain why you care about the bill, and what you want the Committee to do. Keep it short – five minutes or less is best – and try not to repeat what others have said. It’s fine to say “I agree with the previous speaker about . . .”
  8. Finish your testimony by thanking the Committee for listening to you and reminding them what you want them to do.
  9. It’s very helpful to have written testimony to give the Committee before or after you speak. This can be a written version of what you say to the Committee orally, or something more extensive. There is no required format for written testimony, and people do it many different ways. If you want to submit written testimony, bring 20 copies to House Committees and 6 copies to Senate Committees.
  10. Don’t expect the Committee to take a vote after the public hearing. Committee votes usually happen on a later date.
  11. You can do it! Legislators sit up and notice when someone other than a lobbyist shows up to speak. They will listen to what you have to say.

Letters to the editor are a great way to raise awareness about the issues that matter to you. Letters reach many readers and lawmakers often monitor them.

Submit your letter to a statewide newspaper like the Union Leader or the Concord Monitor and to your local paper such as the Nashua TelegraphFosters/Portsmouth Herald/Seacoast Media GroupKeene SentinelLaconia Daily SunConway Daily Sun, or Valley News.

Here are some tips to help you write a powerful letter:

  1. Double-check the paper’s rules for letters to the editor, such as word count restrictions.
  2. Start by saying why you’re writing. Reference a recent news or opinion piece in the newspaper, if you can.
  3. Keep it short. Make one or two strong points.
  4. Make a call to action – for example, ask lawmakers to vote for a bill or residents to show up at an important community meeting.
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