Advocacy Spotlight: How to Contact Your Member of Congress


By Grace Rabinowitz

If you are wondering what more you can do to effectively advocate for girls and women, I’m here to help. With a few simple steps, you (and your Girl Up club) can let your representative know that you care about issues affecting girls and women.

I know that as activists and feminists, as change-makers and leaders, it sometimes feels like the steps we take are limited in scope, and it is hard to know how to take on the issues that we care about while broadening our impact. The first step to raising awareness for what you care about and working to make change: contact your Congressman/Congresswoman and share your perspective. Let your voice be heard by those in the hub of policy-making, especially if your rep has changed after the 2016 election. Right now, girl up is advocating for the Protecting Girls’ Rights to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act.  Here’s how you can get started advocating in 2017:

1. Find your rep with the Girl Up Advocacy App!

The Girl Up Advocacy App is a free app that can be downloaded onto a smartphone and is my personal favorite way of finding out everything I need to know about my representatives in Congress. All you have to do is plug in your address or state and the app will tell you who represents your district down in Washington, D.C.. Also, you’ll get info about Girl Up’s current advocacy mission complete with talking points and how your representative has voted in the past. Trust me, this app is an ah-mazing tool when it comes to advocacy.

Download the Advocacy App

2. Get in touch!

Once you know who your representative is and have read a bit about him/her , it’s time to get in contact! It can be pretty intimidating to call up your rep’s office, so I recommend sending an email first to an address that you can find on the representative’s website. Also, remember there is strength in numbers! A really great way to get a message to your rep is to amplify it with a group letter-writing session that also makes for a great club meeting activity. Use Girl Up’s app to help you craft a message! Once you’ve sent an email or letter, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. You can practice with your club before calling, and make sure you have your talking points ready. The ultimate goal? Setting up an in-person meeting with your representative in your district.

Advocacy Toolkit

3. Follow up!

To make sure that your message sticks, follow up with your member of Congress up by sending a quick thank-you if you met with your rep in person. Be sure to leave behind one-pagers or pamphlets (Girl Up will send you some if you don’t have them already!) for more information for your representative or Senator’s office. Members of Congress are super busy, so it’s up to you to help keep pro-girl legislation on their agendas!


Want to snag an selfie with your rep? Come to the Girl Up Leadership Summit this July to meet with your rep face-to-face!!

Education for Refugee Girls

Good luck! Always remember that you are amazing and can absolutely make a difference!

Grace Rabinowitz is a 2016-2017 Girl Up Teen Advisor.